“Little House on the Prairie” and “Bonanza” star Michael Landon was 54 when he realized on Father’s Day that he was dying.

    “Little House on the Prairie” and “Bonanza” star Michael Landon’s disease defeated him within 3 months at 54.

    His gay son Christopher’s last vow to his dad after a “painful” childhood was revealed.

    At 48, Christopher is a doting dad of two lookalike kids.

    American actor Michael Landon sadly passed away many years ago when he was only 54. He was famous for his TV roles in “Bonanza,” “Little House on the Prairie,” and “Highway to Heaven.”

    While he had a busy Hollywood career, he never neglected his family. The actor had nine children and even got to see the birth of some of his grandchildren before he died.

    A headshot of Michael Landon, circa 1970 | Source: Getty Images

    Michael’s children all have unique personalities and have forged different life paths. One of his sons was only sixteen when Michael passed away, and a year later, he talked about what it was like to lose his father at such a young age.

    Christopher recalled the day he found out his father was dying and how he felt before he got the tragic news. He said he had been in such a good mood because he had aced his English exam, and it was the Friday before his school was due to go on vacation.

    Christopher’s sisters told him that day that their father had been diagnosed with pancreatic cancer. Recalling the moment he got the news, Christopher mused:

    “I could feel every nerve in my body like it was all made up.”

    Only seven months after his father’s passing, Christopher felt ready to speak to anyone about his father’s death and the grief it caused his family. His mother, stepmother, and siblings felt the same.

    Michael fought bravely before his death, giving his recovery everything he had. Yet he was not strong enough to overcome the illness, and he passed away just three months after doctors gave him his first diagnosis.

    The actor underwent chemotherapy and changed his lifestyle to incorporate more natural remedies and a primarily vegetarian diet. Sadly, by Father’s Day in 1990, the telltale signs that he would not make it had become apparent.

    On June 16, 1990, Michael told his wife, Cindy, he knew he was dying. She had seen it for herself when they sat together in their living room later that day, and he needed help getting out of his chair and going upstairs with his portable oxygen tank.

    Michael Landon in Hollywood in 1990 | Source: Getty Images

    By the end of June, a nurse warned Michael’s family that he was days away from death and that they should prepare themselves for the inevitable. Cindy ensured all Michael’s children came to say their goodbyes, yet Christopher still had regret.

    The young man regretted never telling his father he was sorry that he had been battling this disease. When Michael passed away in the early hours of a July morning, Cindy was the only one with him. His last words were, “I love you.”

    Talking about how his perspective on death had changed since his father passed away, Christopher remarked:

    “When I used to think about death, I’d say, ‘I don’t want to die at all!’ But now I’d say the worst that’s going to happen is that I’ll see Dad again.”

    Cindy also talked about what it was like for her to watch him die. She said that while it was difficult for her, she had been losing him in increments over three months, and it helped her accept the finality of his death.

    After his father’s death, Christopher realized he had to start living his life instead of just existing. It was then that he made a promise to his father to “[live] and [love] as hard as he can,” which he has kept to this day.

    The Truth About Michael’s Son, Christopher
    Christopher promised his father that he would live his life to the fullest and be true to himself whenever possible. When Christopher was 24, this came in the form of sharing the truth about his sexuality.

    Cindy and Michael Landon at the Malibu Committee for Incorporation's "The Tides of March" - The First and Last Annual Malibu Right to Vote Party in Malibu, 1990 | Source: Getty Images

    Christopher and his siblings lived an exciting life—their father was a star, and they could have anything their hearts desired. Yet for Christopher, the material things never meant much because he had an internal battle.

    Michael’s son is gay, and when he was growing up and attending school at Beverly Hills High, he found it challenging to manage. He looked great, his father was famous, and he spent his days between his mother’s home and his father’s sprawling Hollywood estate.

    However, Christopher wasn’t happy, even with all the material things he was surrounded with. He often sat in the basement at school, eating his lunch with other children who, like him. felt like they didn’t belong.

    Michael and Christopher Landon at the Colony Market Food Store in Malibu, California in 1984 | Source: Getty Images

    Apart from being afraid that his peers would tease him at school about his sexuality, Christopher was anxious that he would ruin his father’s wholesome Hollywood reputation. He admitted:

    “For a while, I thought an article about me would come out with the headline “Little House on the Fairy” or “Highway to Hell.”

    Along with his anxiousness about his peers and his father’s fans, Christopher did not know how to tell his family he was gay. In fact, he didn’t even realize it until he met one boy he fell in love with.

    As a young man, Christopher had many female friends and thought it odd that he didn’t have the feelings for them that other boys seemed to have. He thought he should investigate why he didn’t feel that way. That was until he met a boy he fell for, and all the puzzle pieces fell into place.

    Christopher’s mother was a born-again Christian, and many other family members followed the same faith, which made it difficult for him to figure out how to tell them about the boy he had fallen in love with.

    Christopher could only keep the secret for two months before he finally told his mother. He recalled:

    “[A]s soon as I realized I was in love — about two months after I met this guy — I just came out. I went straight to my mom, and I was like, ‘Listen, this is what’s going on, and I don’t even know how I even feel about it, but I don’t want to live a double life.”

    Christopher’s mother cried when he told her and even blamed herself for it, but she finally reached a stage of acceptance. The young man said he was glad he had challenged his mother’s beliefs because he felt everyone needed that.

    While Christopher was concerned about how his other relatives would react to him being gay, he found that they didn’t care much and were surprised that it had taken him so long to come out to them.

    When asked whether or not he thought his father knew, Christopher confirmed he did, according to Cindy. When Christopher came out to her, she told him she knew, and his father did too.

    Christopher and Michael Landon at the 1989 Moonlight Roundup Extravaganza to Benefit Free Arts for Abused Children | Source: Getty Images

    Relayed what Cindy told him, Christopher said. “Apparently, he just told her out of the blue, ‘I think he’s gay, but I’m sure he’ll come to that conclusion on his own.’”

    Christopher found it comforting to know that his father knew about his sexuality and that he wasn’t angry about it. He said he missed his father terribly but chose not to follow in his acting footsteps because he had spent too much of his life in the spotlight and wanted a break.

    Christopher Landon at the premiere of "Disturbia" in Hollywood in 2007 | Source: Getty Images

    Now, Christopher has fulfilled all his promises to his father and has even welcomed two sons of his own, Beau Landon-Moriss and August Kelly Landon-Morris. And while his sons give him so much joy, he isn’t immune to adversity. Luckily, he has built enough confidence through the years and has the support of those closest to him.

    Christopher confirmed this when he posted a photo of his young self with braces and neck gear. In the caption, he said he had been shy and afraid of who he was, yet he learned to embrace his true self with the love of his family and friends.

    He then gushed that he was married to the best man, and they had started their own family together. He encouraged fans by saying how beautiful life is when you can be who you are.

    In April 2017, Christopher shared a photo of an adorable newborn baby swaddled in a muslin blanket with giraffes. He mentioned that it was his son, Beau, who was born a week earlier.

    In December 2019, Christopher once again shared a photo of a newborn baby, this time held by Christopher as his husband, Cody Morris, and gazing lovingly at them. Christopher revealed the baby was their second son, August Kelly, “Gus” for short.

    While the couple received many loving and cheerful comments when they showed their sons on social media, they also received some hateful ones, like when one person asked them which one had given birth to their sons and told them they were “sickos.”

    Christopher screenshotted the comment and reposted it on Instagram with a caption saying:

    “Woke up to this attack on our family. A reminder of how far we have come and how much further we have to go.”

    Many fans sympathized with the couple and said how awful it was that someone could not see the family’s love and appreciation for one another.

    In April 2023, Christopher and Cody celebrated their eldest son’s 6th birthday. Christopher took to Instagram to share a series of photos of the young boy and said Beau had made him a better person, and he was so grateful for it. What a beautiful family.

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