‘Little House on The Prairie’: Michael Landon’s Son Took Father’s Beloved Co-Star to Prom

by Keeli Parkey
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During their years working on “Little House on the Prairie,” stars Michael Landon and Melissa Gilbert developed a close bond. Landon played Charles Ingalls, the patriarch of the “Little House” family. Gilbert played his daughter, Laura.

As time went on, Landon and Gilbert grew very close. Their relationship was almost like that between a father and his daughter. According to a report by ABCNews, Landon and Gilbert grew even closer after the death of her father in 1976.

As Landon and Gilbert became more like a real-life father and daughter while working on “Little House on the Prairie,” their families also grew closer. In fact, the families traveled together. And, in what had to make a very sweet memory, Landon’s son Mike. Jr. was Gilbert’s date at her prom.

“Our relationship was very close, and it grew even deeper when my father passed away [in 1976]. Our families got close. We went on vacation to Hawaii together every Easter. His son Mike Jr. was my prom date,” Gilbert said of Landon, according to ABCNews.

AmoMama.com reported that Gilbert and Michael Landon Jr. dated for awhile. Years later, when Gilbert gave birth to a son, she named him Michael in honor of her television father, Michael Landon.

Melissa Gilbert Viewed Michael Landon as Batman While Filming ‘Little House on the Prairie’

Without a doubt, Melissa Gilbert came to idolize Michael Landon thanks to her experience working on “Little House on the Prairie.” She held him in such high esteem that she even thought of him as a superhero.

The actress talked about her experience on the show in her 2010 memoir, “Prairie Tale.”

It is clear from her book that Melissa Gilbert was very fond of Michael Landon. After she was cast on the show, she really got to know him while they worked together. At the start of filming, she had to get to know him. She also had to get to know the other cast and crew working on the show.

While they were working together Gilbert got to experience just how cool Michael Landon was for herself.

“I’d never seen a man in person who was built like him,” Melissa Gilbert also wrote in “Prairie Tale.” “He was an upside-down triangle, think and muscular, and tough beyond my imagination. He chain-smoked cigarettes. On our first day of shooting, we were out in the snow and he was giving us direction when he took out his cigarette and stubbed it out in the palm of his glove. … He did that all the time.

“Then he took out the tobacco, sprinkled it on the ground, and put the filter in his jacket pocket, where over the course of the day he’d build up a fair collection, which he threw out later,” Gilbert continued.

What she witnessed while working alongside Landon led Gilbert to hold him in high regard. “I’d never seen such a macho man,” Gilbert wrote in her memoir about Michael Landon. “He was like James Bond – or Batman.”

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