‘Little House on the Prairie’ Star Michael Landon and Richard Thomas of ‘The Waltons’ Share a Surprising Connection

In the 1970s, Toilet on the Moor and The Waltons it was two of the most popular television shows. Both were portraits of family life at times that seemed seemingly simpler – rural Minnesota in the late 19th century as it was Toilet and Depression-era Virginia for The Waltons. But the shows have something else in common. Richard Thomas, one of the main actors on it The Waltons eventually they would go on to play Charles “Pa” Ingalls, a character made famous by Michael Landon Toilet on the Moor.

Michael Landon played Charles Ingalls in ‘Little House on the Prairie’

Michael Landon in the Cottage on the Moor
Michael Landon as Charles Ingalls | NBCU Photo Bank

Toilet on the Moor first in 1974 on NBC. The series – which would run for nine seasons – was based on a series of popular children’s books by Laura Ingalls Wilder. The books were inspired by her own life growing up on the American frontier in the decades after the Civil War.

Bonanza star Michael Landon played Charles “Pa” Ingalls in the series, father of Laura (Melissa Gilbert) and Mary (Melissa Sue Anderson). Landon also directed several programs of the show and was one of the show’s executive producers. Landon stopped appearing Toilet after season 8 and later star in Highway to Heaven. He died in 1991.

Richard Thomas John-Boy Walton played ‘The Waltons’

Ralph Waite and Richard Thomas in the Waltons
Ralph Waite as John Walton and Richard Thomas as John Boy Walton enter The Waltons | CBS through Getty Images

From 1972 to 1977, he was played by Richard Thomas John-Boy Walton The Waltons. John-Boy was the eldest son of John Walton (Ralph Waite) and Olivia Walton (Michael Learned). When the series begins he is 17 years old and dreams of becoming a writer. As the show progresses, he will eventually leave his home, attend college, and become a published author. (The character was played by Robert Wrightman in later seasons of the show.)

After leaving The Waltons in 1977, Thomas continued to work. He played the oldest Bill Denbrough in the 1990 TV miniseries It and appeared in titles of Law & order, captured by an angel, used, and many other exhibitions. One of his most memorable roles was recently as FBI agent Frank Gaad on FX’s The Americans.

Richard Thomas also played Charles Ingalls

For fans of the Toilet on the Moor series, it’s hard to imagine anyone else playing Pa. But he’s not the only actor showing the character over the years. In fact, Thomas moved himself into the role of Charles Ingalls in 2000 for CBS television film Beyond the Prairie: The True Story of Laura Ingalls Wilder and its 2002 sequel, Beyond the Prairie, Part 2.

The former star of The Waltons Laura ‘s father played in the adaptation, which covers the last three books Toilet series: The Long Winter, Prairie Village, and Those happy yellow years, as well as what was subsequently published The first four years. Meredith Monroe played Laura and Waltor Goggins played Laura’s husband, Almanzo Wilder. Unfortunately, the TV movies are not available for streaming, although a DVD version is available for purchase Amazon. Reviewers on that site were largely in favor of the film. Several said he would hear closer to the stories in the book than the earlier TV show.

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