DEAD: ON THIS DATE
Michael Landon (aged 54)
American actor, writer, director, and producer
Michael Landon (born Eugene Maurice Orowitz; October 31, 1936 – July 1, 1991) was an American actor, writer, director, and producer. He is known for his roles as Little Joe Cartwright in Bonanza (1959–1973), Charles Ingalls in Little House on the Prairie (1974–1983), and Jonathan Smith in Highway to Heaven (1984–1989). Landon appeared on the cover of TV Guide 22 times, second only to Lucille Ball.
DEATH: On April 2, 1991, Landon began to suffer from severe headache while he was on a skiing vacation in Utah. On April 5, 1991, he learned that he had been diagnosed with a particularly aggressive form of pancreatic cancer known as exocrine adenocarcinoma, which had begun to impact the tissues and blood vessels around the pancreas.The cancer was inoperable and terminal. On May 9, 1991, he appeared on The Tonight Show to speak about the cancer and condemn the tabloid press for its sensational headlines and inaccurate stories, including the claim that he and his wife were trying to have another child. During his appearance, Landon pledged to fight the disease and asked his fans to pray for him. On May 21, 1991, he underwent successful surgery for a near-fatal blood clot in his left leg. In June 1991, he appeared on the cover of Life Magazine after granting the periodical an exclusive private interview about his life, his family, and his struggle to live. On July 1, 1991, at age 54, Landon died in Malibu, California.