On July 1, 1991, Michael Landon died suddenly when he was only 54 years old. A true star of the small screen, the actor had made a name for himself thanks to his legendary role in the series Little house on the prairie alongside Karen Grassle, Melissa Gilbert, Melissa Sue Anderson or even Alison Arngrim. A fiction that followed the daily life of the Ingalls family, newly settled in Walnut Grove to build their own farm. A fiction, directed and scripted by him, which ended in 1983 after nine seasons and no less than 205 episodes as well as three TV movies.

It was in February 1991 that the actor suffered from abdominal pain. After consulting doctors, the verdict is in: he has terminal pancreatic cancer that is inoperable. Three months after learning the terrible news, the actor made an appearance on The Tonight Show in which he dwells on his illness while putting an end to certain rumors concerning his love life. On May 21, 1991, the American actor underwent surgery to remove a deadly blood clot from his left leg. A month and a half after this intervention, the actor died in Malibu.

In her book Prairie Tale: A Memoir published in 2009 by Melissa Girbert, the actress who played her daughter Laura Ingalls in Little House on the Prairie, confided in her last moments. “He was extremely thin and frail. He looked twice his age. His hair was white and his skin was grey; all his color had faded. It was as if it was almost invisible.”

Michael Landon is buried in Hillside Memorial Park Jewish Cemetery in California. Rediscover the actor in our slideshow.