‘Little House on the Prairie’: Why Melissa Sue Anderson Once Said Michael Landon Was More of a ‘Big Brother’ Than a ‘Father Figure’

Michael Landon had a special relationship with the team and the team Toilet on the Moor. As the creator, executive producer, and star of the series, the actor had a hand in several departments. Several Landon co-stars believed him as the second father of their time together.

Toilet on the Moor star Melissa Sue Anderson opened up about her special connection to Landon in a 1981 interview.

Melissa Sue Anderson as Mary Ingalls, Michael Landon as Charles Ingalls | Bruce Birmelin Photo Bank / NBCU

Michael Landon and Melissa Sue Anderson played father and daughter

In 1974, Landon helped create the pilot program for Toilet on the Moor. After a 14-year run Bonanza, Landon decided to work on an exhibition founded in the 1870s. Landon got the idea for Toilet on the Moor from his daughter, who was fond of children’s books of the same name.

While citing the lack of range of her character as her reason for leaving Toilet on the Moor, her relationship with Landon suffered in 1981. In later years in the series, Landon had a relationship with Cindy Clerico. Clerico was working as an assistant when they met. According to Anderson’s book, the experience changed how she looked at Landon.

“For us, as children, it was a real blow,” Anderson recalled. “While we knew he could be difficult at times with his faults, we never dreamed he could inflict that kind of pain on his real family. For me personally, I am was on he maintained it to a higher moral standard. It had let me down. ”

Anderson also wrote that she sided with Noe during her divorce and Landon. When Clerico became the makeup artist on the show, Anderson said she refused to do Clerico makeup. She also told People back in 1981 that she stopped talking to Landon when she left Toilet on the Moor.

“I don’t see it as great,” she said. “I think I’ve grown up, and Michael’s life is changing – he’s making personal as well as professional decisions.”

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