‘Little House on the Prairie’: Michael Landon Once Revealed What Made Him ‘Feel Stupid’

by Emily Morgan

Before his passing in 1991, Michael Landon spent four decades starring in popular television shows such as “Bonanza,” “Highway to Heaven,” and “Little House on the Prairie.”

Throughout his career, Landon became famously known for his athletic build and physique. While working on “Little House,” he often went shirtless on set. 

According to PureVolume, Landon worked tirelessly to keep his body looking as good as possible while on-screen. 

In 1983, Landon was candid about his feelings toward his body during an interview with The Washington Post. Landon admitted that he measured how smart he felt by the way he looked. 

“I’m not smart unless I’m strong,” he said. “Unless I go to a gym and exercise, I feel stupid.”

Michael Landon’s Co-Star Compared His Body To Famous Model

Michael Landon’s fans weren’t the only ones who paid attention to the actor’s stunning body. 

Alison Arngrim, who played Nellie Oleson on “Little House,” admitted that her co-star “gorgeous” in her 2010 memoir, Confessions of a Prairie B*tch. 

She also compared Landon to a popular model of the 1970s. 

“He was like a male version of a Farrah Fawcett poster,” Arngrim said of Landon. “I sometimes wondered what he would look like in that red swimsuit.”

Born Eugene Maurice Orowitz on October 31, 1936, Michael Landon grew up in Forest Hills, New York, but moved to California to live out his dreams as an actor. 

He landed his first major role as Little Joe Cartwright in the famous television series “Bonanza.” For 14 years, he appeared as a regular on the show until it ended in 1973. 

After “Bonanza,” Landon searched for his next project— this time hoping to land the role of actor and producer. 

After meeting with “Little House on the Prairie” producer Kent McCray, NBC approached Landon about offering him a position. 

He signed on to play Charles “Pa” Ingalls, the show’s patriarch and the executive producer of the series. 

In his interview, McCray also noted that Landon’s daughter, Leslie Landon, was the deciding factor in his decision to be apart of the show.

Leslie and her mother, Lynn Noe, were fans of the “Little House” children’s book series.

“I think it was Michael’s daughter Leslie who convinced Michael to do the show,” he said.

“Because they were sitting down to dinner one night, and he said, ‘I think I’m going to do a show called Little House on the Prairie.’ And she said, ‘I’ve read all those books! Dad, they’re great books.’ And that, I think, convinced him to do the show.”