‘Yellowstone’ Star Jen Landon Explained She’ll Watch Dad Michael Landon in Classics Like ‘Bonanza’

by Josh Lanier

Jen Landon said that she sometimes still watches episodes of her dad Michael Landon’s shows like Bonanza or Little House on the Prairie. Since he died when she was only 7, those shows can feel like additional home movies.

Jen Landon opened up to Smashing Interviews about her famous father and how sometimes it’s odd to have a similar relationship with him that his fans do. Michael Landon died of cancer in 1991.

“… I don’t get the TV on very much without the cable, I haven’t watched it a lot recently at all,” she said. “By recently, I mean the last 15 years. But if Little House on the Prairie’s on and I’m somewhere and I catch it, I’ll watch it for a bit. It makes me feel very good. If you lose a parent that’s not in the public eye, you don’t really have a lot of material on that parent. I guess it depends. You’ve got photos and home movies maybe, depending on what generation you come from, you know? So you don’t really have all that footage. It’s just something about having a parent in the public eye.

“When I was little, it took me a while to realize he was really famous. I had no idea. In a weird way, there’s something mysterious about the person. I know all parents are mysterious to their children, but I feel like people who are in the public eye have this kind of elusive quality. So in a weird way, it’s weird to me that I get to feel close to him the same way that somebody who has never met him would that’s turning on the TV. That’s how I do it as well. I do it the same way that anybody who really adored him does it.”

Jen Landon Remembers Eating Pink Snow with her Dad

Jen Landon said her father was an incredibly funny, patient, and loving parent. He also loved to create moments of “magic” for his little girl.

“My fondest memory of my dad would be when we were on a ski trip,” she said in the interview. “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. 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.”

“… I get excited now! I’m into it now. Are you kidding? If somebody did that for me, I’d be like, “Wow! That person really loves me.” I don’t think anyone’s ever done anything remotely close to the effort that took. It was just incredible.”

Jen Landon followed her dad into acting. She’s been in several shows and currently stars as Teeter in the popular western Yellowstone.