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Michael Landon was one of the biggest TV stars throughout the 1960s, ’70s, and ’80s. His work spanned generations and now, decades after the actor’s death, fans can still catch him on the small screen in reruns of shows like Little House on the Prairie and Highway to Heaven. In addition to acting Landon was also a writer, a producer, and a director which earned him a hefty net worth.
Here’s how much the star was worth when he died.
Michael Landon’s career
Michael Landon was born Eugene Maurice Orowitz on Oct. 31, 1936, in New York City to parents Peggy and Eli Maurice Orowitz.
His family moved to Collingswood, New Jersey when he was a child. In high school, he excelled in sports and received a scholarship to USC. But injuries ended his athletic career so he dropped out of college, started attending acting school, and changed his surname.
Landon had some minor television roles in mostly Westerns before making his film debut in the 1957 flick I Was a Teenage Werewolf. Two years later, he became known for his role as Little Joe on the show Bonanza.
After that series ended, Landon played Charles Ingalls in Little House on the Prairie, which was based on Laura Ingalls Wilder’s book series. In 1984, he had another leading role in the TV series Highway to Heaven which lasted until 1989; two years before his untimely death.
His death and funeral
In April 1991, the actor was diagnosed with an inoperable form of pancreatic cancer known as exocrine adenocarcinoma. Just a few months after learning he had the disease Landon died at his home in Malibu, California, on July 1, 1991, leaving behind his third wife, Cindy, and nine children: Mark, Josh, Michael Jr., Christopher, Sean, Cheryl, Leslie, Shawna, and Jennifer. Landon was 54.
The Associated Press noted that 500 mourners gathered for his funeral. Those in attendance included everyone from his co-stars over the years to former President Ronald Reagan and his wife, Nancy Reagan.
Melissa Gilbert, who played Landon’s daughter in Little House on the Prairie said: ″Michael’s heart was full of love. He was loved by everybody. He was so special and so basically good. With him, you always knew exactly where you stood. The man had integrity.″
Landon’s ashes were interred at Hillside Memorial Park Cemetery, in Culver City, California, inside a private Mausoleum with an inscription that reads: “He seized life with joy. He gave to life generously. He leaves a legacy of love and laughter.”
Landon’s net worth when he died
According to Celebrity Net Worth, Landon’s net worth at the time of his death was equal to $40 million in today’s dollars.
The publication estimates that if the actor were still alive today he could be worth upwards of $100 million.
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