The daughter of beloved actor Michael Landon is searching for a piece of her family’s history. According to his daughter, Cheryl, the long-lost family heirloom is a gift she got on a trip to NASA’s Johnson Space Center in Houston with her father.
In an article that surfaced in March, Country Music Family reported that the late “Bonanza” star’s daughter sought help to find the lost item. “Dad was touring the Bonanza tours, and we were in Houston, and we got invited to meet the original astronauts,” Cheryl said at the time.
While at the Houston space center, 13-year-old Cheryl received a personalized plaque signed by five of America’s heroes: John Glenn, Alan Shepherd, Wally Schirra, Buzz Aldrin, Neil Armstrong. For decades, Cheryl cherished the gift until five years ago, when someone stole it while Cheryl lived in Phoenix.
“The burglary happened with a friend I was trying to help. He was a vet, and he had serious PTSD. I can’t fault him because he wasn’t of the right mind,” Cheryl said. According to Landon’s eldest daughter, her friend pawned the plaque, but she eventually found it.
“The pawnshop manager found the plaque, took it off the shelf, put it in her office for safekeeping,” Cheryl said. However, after Cheryl endured health complications from an old car accident, she’d lost track of the plaque again when the owner sold the pawnshop.
Michael Landon’s Daughter Pleads For Help to Find Plaque
“They changed all the records, and that led me to the Maricopa Sheriffs,” Cheryl said. She contacted her local sheriff’s office, and after an exhaustive search, the agency is now seeking help from the public. “I’m asking the Arizonians to please help me locate this,” Cheryl told her local newspaper. She’s also offering a cash reward for anyone who can locate the plaque.
“It’s just a square with five headshots, three on the top, two on the bottom, clear perma-sealed, and it’s one of a kind,” Cheryl said. She added, “It would mean a lot. One of my greatest hopes [is] to hand [it] down to my son and my grandbabies.”
When Michael Landon passed away in 1991, he left behind nine children and his loving wife. To pay homage to her dad, Cheryl wrote a book titled I Promised My Dad: An Intimate Portrait of Michael Landon by His Eldest Daughter. Since his passing, his children have spoken about his legacy, as well as his belief in the goodness of people.