“Little House on the Prairie” star Melissa Gilbert remembers her late co-star Michael Landon, more than three decades after he died of pancreatic cancer at age 54.
“Today is the 31st anniversary of the death of one of the most influential people in my life and I am very, very sad,” Gilbert wrote in an essay for Pan CANa charity that funds those affected by the disease.
She continued, “You would think that I would have been feeling this kind of sadness last year, on the 30th anniversary. After all, 30 seems more like a historical number than 31. Yet here I am, deeply feeling the pain and loss today. Grief and loss don’t care about historical numbers. In my experience, they sneak up on you and hit you when you least expect it.”
Gilbert added that he misses Landon now more than ever.
“Like today,” he wrote. “Today I miss my mentor, my acting partner, my favorite director, father figure, friend and boss. I miss my Pa today. I miss Michael Landon today. So much so, I can feel it in my chest, in my heart. I suffer for him.”
“Little House on the Prairie” aired from 1974 to 1983. It followed the Ingalls family in Plum Creek, Minnesota. Gilbert played the second oldest daughter, Laura, who narrated the show.
Gilbert also asked for help finding a cure for pancreatic cancer.
“On this anniversary of the death of my Pa, Michael Landon, please make a contribution to PanCAN. Do it in Mike’s name. You can help end this disease and its horrible wanton destruction today. Please help me in any way you can,” he wrote.