Little House on the Prairie actor Michael Landon passed away 31 years ago.
This year, his tiny Halfpint paid a touching homage to her “Pa” and made a plea for research into cancer that claims about 50,000 lives annually.
“You’d think that on the 30th anniversary last year, I’d be experiencing this type of sadness. After all, 30 appears to be a more significant number than 31. Yet here I am, today fully experiencing the loss and pain,” Melissa Gilbert wrote for PanCAN.
On and off the screen, Gilbert, who played Laura on Little House on the Prairie, forged a particular relationship with Landon.
Gilbert’s father passed away in 1976, and their friendship grew due to her spending more time with Landon and his wife.
In her Prairie Tale memoir, Gilbert reflected, “I slept at their place and they at mine, often enough that they felt like my weekend family. I thought Mike and Lynn were the most magnificent, loving couple.
Gilbert and Landon’s relationship was put to the test by Landon’s involvement in an affair toward the end of the series. Gilbert and her Pa’s relationship went broken, and she didn’t talk to him for years until she found out about his diagnosis.
She allegedly took up the role of his carer in the days leading up to his passing.
Gilbert remembered Landon as the “principled, honorable guy” that he was in an essay she submitted to PanCAN. This nonprofit organization supports medical research and supports patients and their families.
“He was my mentor and had a profound impact on my life. When Mike passed away 31 years ago, he was also a husband, brother, father, grandfather, and friend. Both those of us who knew him personally and those who just loved his work were deeply saddened by his passing.
She said that if it weren’t for pancreatic cancer, which is a terrible, insidious, and horrifying disease, “His death, as horrible and brutal as it was, would not have happened.”
It is unconcerned with your identity, place of residence, line of work, age, race, religion, nationality, or gender.
Alex Trebek, a longtime Jeopardy host, died of pancreatic cancer in November 2020. He was 80.
Gilbert makes a plea to help end the pain of people afflicted by the dreadful disease while honoring Landon and realizing the grief his loved ones are still experiencing.
“If I am feeling this depressed, think how miserable his kids must be on days like today. They lost something that couldn’t be imagined as a great number of people worldwide.
She gave Landon a heartfelt nod as she signed her ode and plea for assistance.
“From Halfpint (Melissa Gilbert) with love,”
It’s hard to imagine Michael Landon dead for 31 years. Melissa Gilbert created the most exquisite ode to her “Pa.” She and his family members undoubtedly miss him every day.
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