Dead: July 1, 1991
High of His Life: To have one culture defining television show is a huge accomplishment most people will never get close to. Twenty-two-time TV Guide cover subject Michael Landon had three: Bonanza, Little House on the Prairie and Highway to Heaven. Sure each took a few pegs down in it’s cultural dominance yet it is still among the most enviable careers, not just in television, but in modern show business. As people get reduced further and further to just one box in an ever-cluttered culture, Michael Landon reminds us that it is possible to have a full career in television.
Low of His Life: ”Michael Landon? Isn’t that the guy who died of butt cancer?” Michael Landon did not die of “butt cancer” in fact one is lead to question whether “butt cancer” is even a thing. What Landon did die of was pancreatic cancer. Nothing funny there but to me the low of his life was that above “butt cancer” quote from a snarky thirteen year old. After an illustrious career Michael Landon was reduced to “butt cancer-guy.” Sad stuff.
Who Sees Her as a Hero: Anyone looking for a career in television, girls who watched too much TV and lacked proper parenting, and people living with “butt cancer.”