An occasional series looking at some true Titans of TV. Their characters are legend: Woodward. Austin. Tanna. Little Joe. But the importance of the fictional pales in comparison to that of the near-mythical actors and actresses who breathed life into the roles. Their shows seldom were Emmy-winning, but their work was seen in your household if you owned a set at the time, their names known to you. We salute TV’s true stalwarts — those with the constitution to make it to the set year after year, show after show.
This time it’s the turn of Michael Landon.
Highway to Heaven, Little House on the Prairie, Bonanza
A generous reserve of patience underneath a tough-but-fair surface. The man considered and judged, but wasn’t afraid to throw down and mix it up when the game became one of knuckles.
From pioneer to caretaker to giver of aid and solace — the late Landon rode with the men who tamed this wild country, then settled down and busted its sod to conceive, nourish and raise a family. Afterward, he stuck around to comfort the sinners who fell through the cracks via carefully delivered wisdom and the occasional angelic nudge. A man could do worse, friend.