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Let’s take a close look at Michael Landon and how he became so rich today.
What is Michael Landon’s Net Worth?
Summary of Michael Landon’s Net Worth
- Net Worth: $40 Million
- Date of Birth: 1936-10-31
- Gender: Male
- Height: 5 ft 8 in (1.75 m)
- Profession: Actor, Screenwriter, Television Producer, Television Director
- Nationality: United States of America
Michael Landon has an estimated net worth of $40 Million.
Michael Landon (born Eugene Maurice Orowitz on October 31, 1936 – July 1, 1991) was an American actor and filmmaker. Among his best-known roles are Little Joe Cartwright in Bonanza (1959-1973), Charles Ingalls in Little House on the Prairie (1974-1982) and Jonathan Smith in Highway to Heaven (1984-1989). Only Lucille Ball has been on the cover of TV Guide more often than Landon.
Michael Landon’s Career
Michael Landon enjoyed an astonishing career as an actor, writer, director, and producer. His thespian success, in particular, was all the more impressive given that he was relatively small in stature (5’9″), and retained a boyishness that would have robbed a lesser man of the aura of authority needed to attain his career heights.
He became popular on television not only in the 50s, 60s, and 70s, but throughout the 80s until July 1, 1991, when he succumbed to liver and pancreatic cancer at only age fifty-four. But he will forever be remembered as Joseph “Little Joe” Cartwright on Bonanza, caring father Charles Ingalls on Little House on the Prairie, and Jonathan, the Angel, on Highway to Heaven (which aired on NBC from 1984 to 1989).
Actor Radames Pera played “Young Grasshopper” on Kung Fu (ABC, 1974– 1976), after which he was cast as John Jr. on Little House (which also featured heartthrob Dean Butler as Almando James Wilder). Pera recalls Landon as “a consummate pro and real ‘actor’s director,’” but also someone who had ambivalence about the fame he found, both embracing and suffering from it. Despite a nagging inferiority, he created an empire by planting a worthy flag in America’s (and France’s) heart that continues waving to this day.
But at what price? At the very least a workaholic, he created a paid family around him while his actual families often suffered from his absence. Though he also died before his time, he chose to leave an enduring legacy of modern fables and demonstrations of spiritual strength during hard times.” Born Eugene Maurice
Orowitz on October 31, 1936, in Forest Hills, Queens, New York, Landon was the son of Eli Maurice Orowitz, a movie theater manager, and Peggy O’Neill, an actress. He became a champion javelin thrower in high school, and won a track scholarship to the University of Southern California but dropped out after a year. He studied at Warner Bros. acting school, changed his billing to “Michael Landon” (which he lifted from a Los Angeles telephone book), and made his acting debut on the big screen in 1957 in I Was a Teen-Age Werewolf. He went on to portray a headstrong farm boy in 1958’s God’s Little Acre and a Confederate hero in 1959’s The Legend of Tom Dooley.
Landon received his big break at age twenty-two when he was hired to play Little Joe Cartwright on Bonanza, which was, among other things, television’s second-longest-running western (fourteen years next to CBS’s two-decade-old Gunsmoke), and the first hour-long western filmed in color.
Toward the end of his days on the Ponderosa (which for a time was not only the title of the Cartwright’s on-screen homestead, but also the syndicated edition of the show), Landon started directing episodes, which later led to his full-time acting, producing, and directing duties on Little House on the Prairie (the 1982-1983 ninth and final season of which aired without his on-screen presence), and Highway to Heaven.
Landon married Dodie Levy-Fraser (1956–1962), Lynn Noe (1963–1982), and Cindy Clerico (1983–1991), and divorced twice. His children include Mark Fraser Landon (adopted from first wife’s earlier marriage), Josh Fraser Landon (adopted as an infant), Cheryl Lynn Landon (stepdaughter from second wife’s earlier marriage), Leslie Ann Landon, Michael Landon Jr. (a successful TV director in his own right), Shawna Leigh Landon, Christopher Beau Landon (from second marriage), Cindy Clerico, Jennifer Rachel Landon, and Sean Matthew Landon (from third marriage).
Michael Sr.’s striking good looks, accented by his deep blue eyes, razor-sharp cheekbones, full mane of tasseled locks, and wide, illuminating smile, won over tons of female audience members of every age.
His behind-the-scenes theatrical abilities, intellect, creative vision, and sense of humor earned him accolades among his peers of every gender, and further added to his charismatic persona. The extensive amount of time, money, and effort he donated for years to the televised Easter Seal Telethon (which he had periodically hosted) showed his generosity as a human being.
On July 1, 2011, the twentieth anniversary of Landon’s passing, journalist Peter Manseau published the article, “Touched by a Michael Landon: America’s Jewish Angel,” for the Religion Dispatches section of the website for the University of Southern California. As Manseau observed, “While no secret, it was not very well known at the time that Landon had endured anti-Semitic taunts and bullying in his youth.”
A measure of it all played out on Little House on the Prairie, when Landon met with a young writer named Paul Wolff, who penned the episode, “The
Craftsman.” Helmed by Landon, airing on January 8, 1979, and set at the end of one summer within the show’s nineteenth-century setting, this segment dealt with Albert Quinn Ingalls (Landon’s on-screen son as played by Matthew Labyorteaux), who becomes an apprentice for Isaac Singerman (John Bleifer), a craftsman who happened to be Jewish.
As an unfortunate consequence, Albert’s classmates berate him for his association with Singerman, and Laura (Melissa Gilbert) is also verbally abused when she defends Albert. In the end, Singerman dies, and Albert learns to take pride in his work, signified by planting an acorn to grow into a tree to repay the earth for the one he utilized in his carpentry.
According to Manseau, “The Craftsman” was the first television job for Wolff, now a professor of screenwriting at the University of Southern California, and he credited Landon and the actor’s integrity for granting him his first big break. “He was serious about who he was, about being Jewish,” Wolff explained. “He had been looking for a way to announce it to the world.”
Manseau later said Landon was so convincing an angelic presence on all three shows that many in Christian America thought they had lost one of their own when the iconic actor died. “After all,” Manseau wrote, “this was the man responsible for Highway to Heaven [which the Los Angeles Times once pegged Jesus of Malibu, an endearing term which stuck with a few NBC staffers], the weekly extrusion of spiritual melodrama that first convinced network executives that American viewers would enjoy being touched by an angel.”
“If further proof were needed,” Manseau continued, Landon appeared on the Christian-geared TV talk show The 700 Club describing feeling “electric” when portraying the “God-fearing icons of family values.”
Bonanza displayed a measure of that mindset, as certainly did the faith-geared Highway to Heaven. But Little House on the Prairie remains his most popular series in the morale-based realm of classic television. As Landon once surmised about the show, “The main values of Little House on the Prairie are the little things that nobody seems to care about anymore: the simple needs of people and how difficult it was in those days out West to supply them.”
Manseau later assessed, “Leaving for another time the question of whether or not Little House on the Prairie was pure schmaltz, it’s worth remembering on
the anniversary of Michael Landon’s death that the man otherwise known as Little Joe Cartwright, Charles Ingalls, and the angel Jonathan Smith had a yiddishe kop under that nice head of hair.”
In 2014 Ann Hodges decided:
The key to Michael Landon’s success was his sweetness. And I say that because he started out playing the sweet son, Little Joe, on Bonanza, then later as the sweet angel Jonathan on Highway to Heaven. But in between those shows, he was the sweet father on Little House on the Prairie, which really made him a main-stay of television. And people still love Little House, including my 12-year-old grandchild who watches that show today, religiously.
Michael Landon’s Salary
Michael Landon is rich, so you can assume that his salary is higher than that of an average person.
But he has not publicly disclosed his salary for privacy reasons. Therefore, we cannot give an accurate estimate of his salary.
Michael Landon’s Income
Michael Landon might have many sources of income such as investments, business and salary. His income fluctuates every year and depends on many economic factors.
We have tried to research, but we cannot find any verified information about his income.
Michael Landon’s Assets
Given Michael Landon’s estimated net worth, he should own some houses, cars, and stocks, but Michael Landon has not publicly disclosed all of his assets. So we cannot get an accurate figure on his assets.
Michael Landon Quotes
The one thing I need to leave behind is good memories.
You can die of the cure before you die of the illness.
I’ve had a good life. Enough happiness, enough success.
I believe in God, family, truth between people, the power of love.
I want people to laugh and cry, not just sit and stare at the TV.
I don’t have expectations. Expectations in your life just lead to giant disappointments.
Every script I’ve written and every series I’ve produced have expressed the things I most deeply believe.
I think all of us create our own miracles.
Life has been good to me. It’s not like I missed an awful lot. I had a pretty good lick here. Every moment gets a little more important.
I’ve fought hard and now I’m weary to the bone.
I’m going to beat this cancer or die trying.
Dreaming is one thing, and working towards the dream is one thing, but working with expectations in mind is very self-defeating.
I’ve got nine kids, nine dogs, three grandkids – and one in the oven. And three parrots!
View our larger collection of the best Michael Landon quotes.
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