HomeEntertainment‘Yellowstone’ Star Jen Landon Describes Best Memory of Dad, ‘Little House on the Prairie’ Star Michael Landon

‘Yellowstone’ Star Jen Landon Describes Best Memory of Dad, ‘Little House on the Prairie’ Star Michael Landon

by Jennifer Shea
Alberto E. Rodriguez/Getty Images

Actress Jen Landon is familiar to “Yellowstone” fans as Teeter, the wiry, gutsy ranch hand who out-toughs all the boys. But she is also a Daytime Emmy-winning soap opera star. And she’s the daughter of “Little House on the Prairie” dad Michael Landon.

Jen Landon Recalls Calm Household

Her father died when Landon was 7 years old. Michael Landon had come down with an aggressive pancreatic cancer that was inoperable and terminal. He died in Malibu, California in July 1991.

But Landon said she still treasures some fond memories of her father. 

“He was incredibly fun and very funny,” Landon told Smashing Interviews Magazine. “He was all of those things that you’ve heard. I had a lot of respect for him. He didn’t really ever have to get upset because you weren’t really going to do anything to piss him off, which was nice.” 

“It makes for a very calm household, I think, when parents have very clear roles with their kids about what is expected and what’s not,” she added. “And then everything just goes smoothly. I’m a big fan of that style of parenting because I see so many kids these days acting terrible in places. I’m like, ‘This isn’t even a place where you should have to reprimand your children.’ That behavior should just be non-negotiable and should just not exist.”

A Memorable Prank

But while Michael Landon commanded respect, he also had a lot of energy and wonder. And he could be quite mischievous.

“My fondest memory of my dad would be when we were on a ski trip,” Landon recalled. “My best friend and I were both very little. Dad woke us up and said, ‘Come on! Let’s go!’ He put our ski stuff on, we went downstairs, he opened up the backyard door and the snow went up to my waist.” 

“At three or four years old, I didn’t know how high that was, but I walked outside and all the fresh snow was pink… completely pink,” she said. “He had taken Nestle’s Quik strawberry powder, which was my favorite food on earth and forbidden by my mother, and covered the entire backyard in it. He walked both of us out there waist deep in pink snow with spoons and we were eating it. That was one of the peak moments of my entire life. It was magic.”

In an Associated Press interview shortly before his death, Landon said he planned to battle the cancer as long he could. He had been trying an experimental treatment that enlisted drug-dispensing bubbles of fat to fight the tumor in his pancreas.

“I’m not the kind of person who gives up without a fight. If I’m gonna die, death’s gonna have to do a lot of fighting to get me,” he said. ″I want to see my kids grow up. I want to play baseball with [4-year-old son] Sean. I want to know if Jennifer turns out to be as good an actress as I think she will be.”