Being the real-life children of Little Joe Cartwright from Bonanza, and Charles Ingalls from Little House on the Prairie can be quite the life, as most would think. But do Michael Landon’s children share the same sentiment?
Michael Landon, or Eugene Maurice Orowitz as he was originally named, was one of the most prominent actors, singers, producers, and directors of his time. But regretfully, he passed away at the age of 54, shortly after being diagnosed with exocrine adenocarcinoma.
With all the fame and recognition, a lot of people may wonder about the kind of life he led behind the Hollywood scenes. Having been married three times especially magnifies inquisitive lenses on his nine children.
So, let’s meet Michael Landon’s nine kids with his three wives.
Michael Landon’s kids with Dodie Fraser
Michael was only 20 when he married his first wife, Dodie Fraser. He adopted Mark, Dodie’s son from her previous relationship, and later, he and Dodie adopted Josh together. Their marriage lasted for a good six years before they got divorced in 1962.
But before they separated, Dodie expressed her desire to adopt another child to which Michael was not on board with. Eventually though, in May 1961, Jason, only one week old at the time, joined the Landon family.
However, after their split, Dodie obtained custody of the three children and decided to give Jason another home with a couple in Texas, believing she was not equipped enough to provide and care for all three boys alone.
Mark Fraser Landon
Mark was only 8 years old when his mom married Michael, but it seems his dad’s influence on him ran deep seeing as he too, pursued a career in acting and even worked on a project with his dad.
In 1986, Mark landed a role in Double Edge. In 1991, he acted in a TV movie entitled Us with his dad, and in 1997, Mark was casted in Goodbye America.
However, at the age of 60, Mark Fraser Landon passed away at his California West Hollywood home for reasons no one really knows. His remains rest at the Hillside Memorial Park Cemetery, along with his dad’s.
Josh Fraser Landon
Unlike Mark, Josh was still an infant when Michael and Dodie adopted him. As such, there isn’t much information on his life and his relationship with his father.
Michael Landon’s kids with Lynn Noe
In 1963, Michael married Lynn Noe, and like Dodie, Lynn had a child, Cheryl, from her previous relationship. But Michael accepted and raised Cheryl as her own.
Soon after, Lynn birthed their first child together and Michael’s first daughter, Leslie. After two years, Lynn and Michael opened their arms to their second child and Lynn’s first son, Michael Landon Jr.
Years later, the couple welcomed another daughter, Shawna in 1971, and their fourth child and second son, Christopher, in 1975.
However, Michael’s infidelity to his wife with a make-up artist on the set of Little House on the Prairie broke their 18-year marriage.
Cheryl Lynn Landon (Cheryl Ann Pontrelli)
When her mom married Michael, Cheryl was only nine years old, but Michael loved her as his own. It’s clear that this love was reciprocated when Cheryl took her dad’s last name and when she wrote a book entitled “I Promised my Dad” in honor of his late father.
Leslie Ann Landon
Just like her father, Leslie also took a liking to the acting world and became an actress for a time with appearances in the hit TV show Little House on the Prairie playing Etta Plum with her dad in 1981, and again three years later in Little House: The Last Farewell.
However, Leslie left show business and went on to study psychology at Pepperdine University where she got her BA degree, and later on, an MA in clinical psychology. After which, she attained her Ph.D. from California Graduate Institute for marriage and family therapy, and since then, Leslie has been working as a clinical psychologist.
She is now married to Brian Matthews with two children of her own.
Michael Landon Jr.
The artistic gene certainly did not miss Michael Landon Jr., as he now works as a director and producer. Some of his projects include When Calls the Heart, Jamaa, and Love Comes Softly.
It’s clear that Michael’s acting influence on his children started early on as Michael Landon Jr., or Michael Jr. as he is known, also starred on Little House on the Prairie, Bonanza: Under Attack, and Superboy during his early years.
For more than three decades now, Michael Jr. has been married to Sharee Gregory, an actress, and together, they have two daughters, Brittany and Ashley, and one son, Austin.
Shawna Leigh Landon
Like her siblings, Shawna also appeared on Little House on the Prairie, but unlike them, she didn’t pursue a career in show business. Shawna opted to go for real estate and is now based in California as a real estate agent.
Shawna also lives with her three children—two daughters and a son.
Christopher Beau Landon
When his parents got divorced, Christopher was only four years old, and when his dad died, he was just sixteen. But this did not deter Christopher from pursuing a career in show business too.
Christopher is now a famous screenwriter, director, and producer, having written, produced, and directed a myriad of films. The most famous films that he wrote include Disturbia, Paranormal Activity 2, Paranormal Activity 3, and Paranormal Activity 4.
In 2010, Christopher made his directorial debut with Burning Palms and in 2017, directed Happy Death Day. He also both wrote and directed Paranormal Activity: The Marked Ones, Happy Death Day 2U, Scouts Guide to the Zombie Apocalypse, and Freaky.
In terms of family, Christopher currently has two sons with his husband, Cody.
Michael Landon’s kids with Cindy Clerico
Michael Landon’s marriage to Cindy Clerico was a relationship that stemmed from an affair. Cindy Clerico was a former make-up artist on the set of Little House on the Prairie where Michael was known for his role as Charles Ingalls.
This affair caused Michael’s divorce from his second wife, Lynn Noe. Michael and Cindy soon got married in 1983 and welcomed their first daughter, Jennifer. Three years later, their son, Sean, said hello to the world.
Jennifer Rachel Landon
Just like most of her siblings, Jennifer also got to act alongside her father. She appeared on the Us, and on Highway to Heaven series finale at the tender age of five. Later, she pursued the same career choice as her father and studied drama at New York University.
Soon after, Jennifer got her breakthrough role in As the World Turns as Gwen Norbeck Munson for which she was awarded three Daytime Emmys.
Sean Matthew Landon
Being the youngest of Michael’s kids, Sean was only four years old when his dad died. And like Shawna, Sean also stayed away from show business, opting instead to go for real estate.
Sean now runs his own real estate company called Sean Landon Estates.
Described as a doting father by most, Michael Landon continues to live his legacy through the lives of his children. In spite of their dad’s early passing, Michael Landon’s children clearly have not forgotten their dad. That much is evident in the career paths that they chose, and in how they live their lives.
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