Michael Landon Net Worth
|Net Worth:||$40 Million|
|Date of Birth:||Oct 31, 1936 - Jul 1, 1991 (54 years old)|
|Place of Birth:||Forest Hills|
|Height:||5 ft 8 in (1.75 m)|
|Profession:||Actor, Screenwriter, Television Producer, Television Director|
|Nationality:||United States of America|
What was Michael Landon's Net Worth?
Michael Landon was an American actor, writer, producer, and director who had a net worth equal to $40 million in today's dollars at the time of his death in 1991. Landon was best known for starring in several classic television shows. He played Joseph "Little Joe" Cartwright in the television series "Bonanza" from 1959 to 1973, Charles Ingalls in the TV series "Little House on the Prairie" from 1974 to 1983, and Jonathan Smith in the series "Highway to Heaven" from 1984 to 1989.
Michael appeared on the cover of TV Guide 22 times, more than anyone other than behind Lucille Ball. In 1979 he was nominated for a Golden Globe Award for Best Actor in a Television Series – Drama for Little House on the Prairie. Landon also received a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame in 1984. He was married three times and had nine children. Michael Landon passed away on July 1, 1991 at 54 years of age from pancreatic cancer. If Michael were alive today, he would be 81 years old and could be worth well over $100 million.
Eugene Maurice Orowitz was born on October 31, 1936 in Queens, New York to mother Peggy, who was Roman Catholic, and father Eugene, who was Jewish. Orowitz had an older sister, Evelyn, who was born in 1933. Landon moved with his family to Collingswood, New Jersey when he was four years old and attended Temple Beth Shalom in Cherry Hill, New Jersey throughout elementary school.
Landon attended Collingswood High School where he excelled at athletics. In 1954 he set the high school record for longest javelin throw. Michael's talents earned him an athletic scholarship to the University of Southern California. After tearing his shoulder ligaments he lost his scholarship and subsequently left college.
Landon became interested in show business and started working as a gas station attendant across the street from the Warner Bros studios and was subsequently noticed by local talent agent Bob Raison.
Upon being discovered by Bob Raison, Landon changed his name from Eugene Orowitz to Michael Landon, a name he found by searching through a phone book.
He made a number of bit and un-credited appearances in television shows. In 1956 Michael landed his first starring role on a series called "Telephone Time", in the episode "The Mystery of Casper Hauser" as the title character. Other early notable roles include: movie roles in "I Was a Teenage Werewolf" (1957), "Maracaibo" (1958), "High School Confidential" (1958), "God's Little Acre" (1958), and "The Legend of Tom Dooley" (1959), as well as many roles on television, such as "Crossroads", "The Restless Gun" (pilot episode aired on "Schlitz Playhouse of Stars"), "Sheriff of Cochise" (in "Human Bomb") "Crusader", "Frontier Doctor", "The Rifleman" (in "End of a Young Gun", 1958), "The Adventures of Jim Bowie", "Johnny Staccato", 'Wire Service", "General Electric Theater", 'The Court of Last Resort", "State Trooper" (two episodes), "Tales of Wells Fargo" (Three episodes), "The Texan" (in the 1958 episode "The Hemp Tree"), "The Tall Man", "Tombstone Territory" (in the episodes "The Man From Brewster", "Rose of the Rio Bravo", "Trackdown" (two episodes), and "Wanted Dead or Alive". Landon also appeared in several episodes of Dick Powell's "Zane Grey Theater".
Michael also perused a singing career. He released a single titled "Gimme a Little Kiss (Will "Ya" Huh)"/" Be Patient with Me" in 1957. In 1964, Landon released a second single "Linda is Lonesome"/" Without You".
In 1959, Landon began starring as Little Joe Cartwright on "Bonanza". The series was one of the first programs to be broadcast in color nationally. The show was massive hit, topping Nielsen ratings as the #1 show for three straight years. Landon was the show's breakout star, receiving significantly more fan mail than any other cast member. As his star rose, Michael was able to secure the option to write and direct a number of Bonanza episodes.
Michael also notably directed one of the show's most memorable specials, "Forever", a two-hour wedding episode.
Along with Lorne Greene and Victor Sen Yung, Landon appeared in all fourteen seasons of the series. Michael appeared in 428 of the show's 431 episodes.
Bonanza's eventually declined and was canceled in November 1972. The last episode aired on January 16, 1973.
Little House on the Prairie
In 1973, a year after "Bonanza was cancelled, Landon was cast as Charles Ingalls in the pilot of NBC's "Little House on the Prairie". After eight seasons, in 1982, the show was rebranded by NBC as "Little House: A New Beginning". Though Landon remained the show's executive producer, director and writer, the show did not feature his character. "Little House: A New Beginning" was the final chapter of "Little House on the Prairie", as the series ended in 1983.
Michael appeared in 187 of the show's 204 episodes.
Highway to Heaven and Later Work
From 1984 to 1989 Michael Landon also starred in the series "Highway to Heaven" as Jonathan Smith. He was the show's creator, executive producer, writer, and director for the series. The series ended in 1989 and was the only show throughout Landon's career that he owned outright. He appeared in all 111 of the show's episodes.
In 1984, Landon released "Sam's Son", a coming-of-age feature film that he wrote and directed and was loosely based on Michael's childhood.
Landon also appeared as a celebrity panelist on the premiere week of Match Game on CBS.
Landon was married three times and fathered nine children in total.
Michael was married to Dodie Levy-Fraser from 1956-1962. They had two children, Mark Fraser Landon (adopted, Dodie's biological son) and Josh Fraser Landon, born in 1960 (also adopted as an infant).
Landon was married to Marjorie Lynn Noe from 1963-1982. They had five children, Cheryl Lynn Landon (born Cheryl Ann Pontrelli and Lynn's daughter from her first marriage), Leslie Ann Landon, born in 1962, Michael Landon Jr., born in 1964, Shawna Leigh Landon, born in 1971 and Christopher Beau Landon, born in 1975.
Landon was married to Cindy Clerico from 1983 until his death in 1991. They had two children, Jennifer Rachel Landon, born in 1983, and Sean Matthew Landon, born in 1986.
Landon was a self-admitted chain smoker and heavy drinker.
In 1991, after suffering from a severe headache, Landon was diagnosed with an aggressive form of pancreatic cancer. The cancer was found to be inoperable and terminal. On July 1, 1991, at the age of 54, Michael Landon succumbed to the cancer and passed away in his Malibu home.
Landon was interred in a private family mausoleum at Hillside Memorial Park Cemetery, in Culver City, California.
Michael Landon owned several pieces of valuable real estate during his time. He owned a seven-bedroom mansion in Malibu that featured 70 feet of ocean frontage. He sold that house in 1989 for $6 million which is equal to around $11 million today. In 2014, an updated version of that home sold for $40 million.
Michael owned another mansion in Malibu Canyon that was much more private. This second property is an equestrian compound that has a 9000C square foot home. His surviving family still owns that property today.
In the 1970s, Michael and fellow Bonanza actor Lorne Green co-acquired an undeveloped beachfront property in Malibu. In 1979 they donated the land to the state of California on the condition that it become a public beach named after their Bonanza co-star Dan Blocker who had died in 1972. Today that property is Dan Blocker Beach and it was donated by California to the county of Los Angles in 1995 with several other neighboring parcels.
In 2015, Michael's widow Cindy Landon spent $7.5 million on a mansion above Malibu's Broad Beach and completely renovated the home. In 2018, Cindy listed the home for sale for $18 million but did not find a buyer. She subsequently rented the house for $100,000 per month until television tycoon Seth MacFarlane bought the home for $15.7 million in 2019.