Michael Landon was – and is – a beloved television star. He is most known for his roles on “Bonanza,” “Little House on the Prairie,” and “Highway to Heaven.”
In addition to being a famous actor, he was also a father and a man who loved his family. He said one reason he decided to play the role of Charles Ingalls on “Little House” was his family.
“When (‘Little House on the Prairie’) came along it was fresh for me because it was honest and it was simple and it was very basic and I liked the people,” Michael Landon once said. “I thought the people were nice and I kind of felt my family would like to watch that. I got a lot of kids. And it’s kind of fun to think you’re going to do a show that you would be happy to sit in the living room with the whole family and watch.”
So, it’s not very surprising that he would bring his involve a member of the family in his work. According to an article on MeTV.com, he did just that while filming his last episode of “Highway to Heaven.”
Michael Landon Includes Daughter in Final Episode of ‘Highway to Heaven’
While filming the series finale of that show during 1989, Michael Landon reportedly decided to give his daughter, Jennifer Landon, a chance to appear on camera. Jennifer, who also goes by Jen, plays “Teeter” on Paramount Network’s “Yellowstone.”
At the time, Landon and the rest of the cast and crew of the show were filming the final scene of the episode and the show. The episode is titled, “Merry Christmas from Grandpa.”
In this scene on “Highway to Heaven,” a children’s choir appears next to an older man’s bed. The youngsters represent the children the man will have in his future, according to the article. Young Jennifer stands out in her role as a member of the children’s choir. This was her first time acting on camera.
In a recent interview, Jen has said that her father was the inspiration for her to take the role on “Yellowstone.”
“He died when I was seven. Little House was on in the morning so I used to watch it before school,” Jennifer Landon said, according to Express. “I had never seen the pilot of that show and right before I started working on Yellowstone I was like ‘I should make sure I watch all of ‘Little House on the Prairie’.”
Landon Casts Another Daughter on ‘Little House on the Prairie’
Jennifer’s appearance on “Highway to Heaven” wasn’t the first time Michael Landon cast one of his children in a show. During the run of “Little House on the Prairie,” his daughter, Leslie Landon acted in several episodes.
Leslie Landon played Etta Plum from 1982 to 1984. Plum was the school teacher of the Ingalls children.