‘Little House on the Prairie’ Star Michael Landon Was 1 of 4 Celebrities to Appear on Cover of TV Guide 15 Times

by Katie Maloney
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How do you know you’re a superstar? When you break Michael Landon’s record for most TV Guide cover photos.

Certainly, Michael Landon was a television icon. He starred as Little Joe Cartwright in Bonanza, Charles Ingalls in Little House on the Prairie, and Jonathan Smith in Highway to Heaven. So, it’s no surprise that Michael landed a slew of TV Guide covers.

In fact, there are only three other celebrities to make it onto TV Guide covers 15 times. The list includes Bob Hope, Johnny Carson, and Lucille Ball. However, Landon didn’t stop at 15. In total, Michael graced the covers of 22 TV Guide magazines. His record is second only to Lucille Ball.

From the start of his career, all the way through his passing, TV Guide featured articles, interviews, and tributes about the television star.

Michael Landon as Charles Philip Ingalls. Photo by: NBCU Photo Bank

Michael Landon Is Not His Real Name

Michael was born in 1936 and given the name was Eugene Maurice Orowitz, according to an MEtv. Although it’s still a strong name, “Eugene Maurice” doesn’t quite the same ring to it that “Michael Landon” does. At least, that’s what Landon thought.

When Michael started acting he decided that he wanted a more Hollywood-worthy stage name. So, he found a phonebook and started looking. I mean, where else could you find a wider selection of potential new names than a phonebook? It makes sense.

After scrolling for new identities, Michael settled on “Michael Lan.” However, according to History Garage, that name was already taken by another actor in the guild. So, he found his trusty phonebook again and continued looking. Soon, Michael came across the name “Alf Landon.” He combined Michael with Landon and the rest is both television and TV Guide cover photo history.

His stage name was a hit. He went on to star in several shows. Additionally, Michael Landon was inducted into the Television Academy Hall of Fame in 1995.

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