Melissa Gilbert pays tribute to Michael Landon, who played Pa on Little House on the Prairie, 31 years after his "cruel and brutal" death from cancer.

Gilbert, who is now 58, played Laura Ingalls Wilder in the 1974 show when she was a child. Landon played her father, Charles Ingalls, in the same show.

Now, 31 years after he died of pancreatic cancer at age 54, she thought about "one of the most important people in her life." 

The actress said that his "cruel and brutal" death left a "hole" in her life and in the lives of many other people who "knew him personally" or "just liked his work." 

Gilbert said she was "aching" for her "mentor, acting partner, favorite director, father figure, friend, boss, and Pa." 

She said that she was "grieving his loss" more than ever during "these hard times" when his "voice and talent" would have brought her so much "comfort." 

She said of the disease, "It doesn't care what you do for a living or what color or gender you are." "It is a brutal and cruel killer, and it took a loved one from me." 

Melissa Gilbert, who played Ma on the Western show Little House on the Prairie for nine years, remembered her former co-star Michael Landon on the 31st anniversary of his death. She wrote an emotional tribute to the man who played her "Pa" for nine years. 

Gilbert, who is now 58 and played Laura Ingalls Wilder in the 1974 series when she was just a child, said she was "so sad" while remembering "one of the most important people in her life." Landon, who played Charles Ingalls, Laura's father, died tragically at age 54 from pancreatic cancer. 

The actress said that his "cruel and brutal" death had left her and many others who "knew him personally" or "just liked his work" with "an enormous hole." 

"Today is the 31st anniversary of the death of one of the most important people in my life, and I am so, so sad," she wrote in an essay for PanCAN, a charity that works to find treatments for the disease. 

Gilbert said that she was "aching" for her "mentor, acting partner, favorite director, father figure, friend, boss, and Pa." She called him a "principled, honorable man" who cared deeply about "human rights." 

"I miss Michael Landon today. I can feel it so much in my chest and heart. I want him so badly," she said. 

Mike was a good man with strong morals who believed in the power of love, tolerance, compassion, and understanding above all else. 

"He was a fierce fighter for human rights, and he told these stories just a little bit better than anyone else." 

The show, which started in 1974 and ended in 1983, was about the Ingalls family, who lived on a farm in Minnesota in the 1870s, 1880s, and 1890s. 

It was made by Landon, and it was based on the best-selling book by Laura Ingalls Wilder with the same name. Karen Grassle, Melissa Sue Anderson, Lindsay and Sidney Greenbush, Katherine MacGregor, Alison Arngrim, Jonathan Gilbert, and others also played roles in it. 

Landon, who had been married three times and had nine kids when he died, had a lot of headaches while he was on a ski trip in Utah in 1991. A few days later, he was told he had pancreatic cancer. He died on July 1 of that year. says that about 62,210 people will be diagnosed with pancreatic cancer this year (32,970 men and 29,240 women), and about 49,830 of them will die. 

"He was my teacher and one of the most important people in my life," Gilbert said. "When Mike died 31 years ago, he was also a husband, brother, father, grandfather, and friend. 

His death left a huge hole in the lives of both those who knew him and those who just liked his work.' 

Gilbert said that she was "grieving his loss" more than ever during "these hard times" when his "voice and talent" would have brought her so much "comfort." 

"I'm sad about his death and loss, as I'm sure many, many other people are," she said. "Even more so right now, when it seems like the whole world is on fire. 

"I know that Mike's voice and talent would have helped all of us feel better during these hard times. 

"The lessons he would have taught us through his movies would have shown us how wrong things were, just as they had for so many decades before he died." 

She said that he died in a "cruel and brutal" way, and she said that pancreatic cancer was "vicious, pernicious, and horrifying." 

She said about the disease, "It doesn't matter who you are, where you live, what you do for a living, how old you are, what your religion, nationality, color, or gender is." 

"It is a brutal and cruel killer, and it took a loved one from me. I wasn't taught to hate. I was taught to love and accept everyone, but I hate pancreatic cancer so much it makes me want to throw up. I want to get rid of this disease for good. I want it to go away everywhere.' 

She asked people to help find a cure for pancreatic cancer as a way to end her emotional message. 

She wrote, "I'm asking you today, on the anniversary of my grandfather Michael Landon's death, to please make a donation to PanCAN." 

Do it in Mike's name. You can help stop this horrible disease and the damage it does today. Please, please do what you can to help.' 

Landon made the western drama series Father Murphy after he did well as Charles in Little House. Then, from 1984 to 1989, he was in Highway to Heaven. 

He has also acted in Love is Forever on NBC, the coming-of-age movie Sam's Son, the PBS show The Electric Company, and Where Do Pigeons Go to Die. He was also on a game show called Match Game. 

Landon started a successful singing career in addition to his work as an actor, director, and producer. He put out a few songs and went on a lot of world tours over the course of his career. 

His first wife was Dodie Levy-Fraser. They got married in 1956 and split up in 1962. Mark and Josh are the names of the two sons they took in. 

Then, in 1963, he married Marjorie Lynn Noe. Together, they had four children: two daughters, Leslie and Shawna, and two sons, Michael Jr. and Christopher. He also took in Cheryl, Noe's daughter from her first marriage. However, in 1982, he and Noe broke up. 

After that, he married Cindy Clerico, who did the makeup for Little House on the Prairie, in 1983. Since they started seeing each other while he was still married to Noe, the media didn't like it. 

They were together until he died. They had a daughter named Jennifer and a son named Sean. 

Gilbert only had good things to say about Landon, but after he died, his former on-screen wife, Grassle, said that he was mean to her on set. 

In her recent memoir, Grassle talked about the "disgusting" jokes Landon would tell on set. He would brag about his "revived libido" after he started taking supplements. He would also make fun of the way she looked, and Grassle said he "insulted" her by saying she shouldn't be paid more than the child actors on the show. 

She wrote in her book, "Mike started showing up happy at the makeup table and bragging about the benefits of bee pollen for the aging male." She also said that the R-rated talk was not welcome because, "I didn't want to think about his penis." 

At the height of her popularity, Grassle made between $2,000 and $4,000 a week. She said she once asked Landon for a raise before the second season. But Landon supposedly said no, and she said that after that, he started cutting her scenes and leaving her out of the storylines completely. 

She also said that he was mean to her on set, making fun of her body and facial expressions in front of crew members. Grassle wrote in her book that she didn't feel like she could stand up to him. 

She said, "It was almost like I was frozen." But as a woman working in movies in the 1970s, I was so used to being put down that it never occurred to me to tell him off in a harsh way. I kept up my work ethic. I'd act like the good girl and hope.'


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