Michael (Orowitz) Landon

Eugene Maurice (Orowitz) Landon (1936 - 1991)

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Eugene Maurice (Michael) Landon formerly Orowitz
Born in Queens, New York, U.Smap
[sibling(s) unknown]
Husband of [private wife (1930s - unknown)]
Husband of [private wife (1930s - unknown)]
Father of [private daughter (1960s - unknown)], [private son (1960s - unknown)], [private son (1970s - unknown)], [private daughter (1980s - unknown)] and [private son (1980s - unknown)]
Died in Malibu, California, U.S.map
Profile manager: Matt Pryber private message [send private message]
Profile last modified | Created 14 Jul 2014 | Last significant change: 22 Nov 2018
14:52: Gil Davis edited the Biography for Eugene Maurice (Orowitz) Landon (1936-1991). (added cemetery) [Thank Gil for this]
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Categories: American Notables | Actors | Nominated Profiles | Queens, New York | Hillside Memorial Park, Culver City, California.

Michael (Orowitz) Landon is notable.
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An American actor, writer, director, and producer. He is known for his roles as Little Joe Cartwright in Bonanza (1959–73), Charles Ingalls in Little House on the Prairie (1974–83), and Jonathan Smith in Highway to Heaven (1984–89.

Though his daughter and costar from bonanza (David Canary) have both won numerous Emmy's Michael has never been nominated for one.

Michael Landon was born Eugene Maurice Orowitz on October 31, 1936 in Queens, New York, U.S.. He was the second child of Eli Maurice Orowitz (an actor and movie theater manager of Jewish Descent) and Peggy (O'Neill), a dancer and comedienne of Irish Descent. Michael was the brother of a younger sister, Evelyn.

The family was living in Collingswood, New Jersey by 1941. Michael's Bar Mitzvah was celebrated at Temple Beth Sholom, a conservative chapel in Haddon Heights.

Michael's childhood was plagued by his mother's suicide attempts. On vacation one year, she tried to drown herself but Michael saved her. She acted like nothing had happened and he was so upset he was sick to his stomach.

At his high school, Michael was noted for his accomplishments with the javelin. [1]His 193’ 4” toss in 1954 being the longest throw by a high schooler in the United States that year. This earned him an athletic scholarship to the University of Southern California, but he subsequently tore his shoulder ligaments, ending his javelin throwing career and his participation on the USC track team. [2]

Michael Landon started his film career, as little Joe on [3]Bonanza in 1959, he was 22 years old.Michael Landon wanted to direct and produce some of the episodes,and because of the high ratings Bonanza recieved, the executive producer agreed. Bonanza was cancelled in November 1972. He than played the role of Charles Ingalls, in Little house on the Prairie.The show was based on the book written by Laura Ingalls Wilder in 1935 .

Michael Landon's last major show was Highway to Heaven, where he played a probationary Angel. In this show he brought in many cancer patients and disabled people. Victor French was his co star, they had worked together in Little house on the prairie. Victor French died of advanced lung cancer on June 15, 1989, two months after the the disease was diagnosed. Michael Landon invited his youngest daughter, Jennifer Landon, to take part in the final episode.

In April 5, 1991,Michael Landon was diagnosed with Pancreatic Cancer which was considered inoperable.Michael Landon asked his fans to pray for him.On May 21, 1991 he had surgery for a blood clot in his left leg, the surgery was successful . In June 1991,Michael Landon granted Life Magazine a exclusive interview,about his life, his family and his struggles with his medical problems.[4]Michael Landon died on July 1, 1991,in Malibu, California he was 54 years old. [5] [6] His remains were interred at Hillside Memorial Park Cemetery,in the Landon Mausoleum in Culver City, California.

Michael Landon always admitted that he was a chain smoker and a heavy drinker.Michael Landon was divorced twice,he married his third wife Cindy in 1983.Michael Landon had five sons and four daughters.


[7]Landon Mausoleum


  1. Collingswood High School - Notable alumni Eugene Orowitz (1936–1991, class of 1954, actor who had the nation's longest high school javelin throw - 193' 4" - in 1954
  2. Wikipedia - Michael Landon
  3. Ponderosa Scenery - Cast Biographies Michael Landon
  4. Family Search - Citing this Record"United States, GenealogyBank Obituaries, 1980-2014," index and images, FamilySearch , Michael Or Eugene Maurice Landon Or Orowitz, 02 Jul 1991; citing Middle Atlantic, Virginia, United States, Roanoke Times, The, GenealogyBank, Naples, Florida; FHL microfilm 100670797
  5. Find a Grave - Burial - Hillside Memorial Park ,Culver City,Los Angeles County,California, USA Plot - Mausoleum Find A Grave Memorial# 601
  6. Find a Death.com - Michael Landon
  7. People.com - Goodbye, Little Joe

See Also

  • Pinterest - Images of Michael Landon
  • New York Times - July 2, 1991 Michael Landon, 54, Little Joe On 'Bonanza' for 14 Years, Dies By PETER B. FLINT

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No known carriers of Michael's Y-chromosome or his mother's mitochondrial DNA have taken yDNA or mtDNA tests and no close relatives have taken a 23andMe, AncestryDNA, or Family Tree DNA "Family Finder" test.

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Images: 2
Michael Landon Image 1
Michael Landon Image 1

Michael Landon Image 2
Michael Landon Image 2


On 27 Jun 2016 at 10:16 GMT Ros Haywood wrote:

I removed the category 'Notables Profiles' as it does not exist; the 'Notables' template is sufficient

Ros, visiting from the Categorization Project

Michael is 36 degrees from Sharon Caldwell, 31 degrees from Burl Ives and 31 degrees from Victoria of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland on our single family tree. Login to find your connection.

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