Michael Landon Purposely Got Sexy On ‘Little House’ To Outdo Burt Reynolds


Michael Landon apparently got “sexy” on Little House on the Prairie in order to compete with the sexy-as-ever Burt Reynolds. Karen Grassle, who played Caroline “Ma” Ingalls, opened up to the NY Post about how Landon was jealous of Reynolds and really worked to outdo him in the sexy department, despite being a wholesome father figure on the show.

“In the ’70s, Burt topped the list as the most desirable man in Hollywood,” Grassle recalls. “Mike was resentful and wanted to take his place.”


Michael Landon wrote specific scenes into the show so he could get sexy


Reynolds had famously posed nude for Cosmopolitan Magazine, and at that time, Landon was writing, producing, directing, and starring in Little House—while, of course, flexing his muscles as much as a G-rated show would allow him.

RELATED: Burt Reynolds Reportedly Regretted His Nude Photoshoot In The ’70s

Grassle opens up more about this whole situation in her memoir Bright Lights, Prairie Dust: Reflections on Life, Loss and Love from Little House’s Ma. She notes how Landon purposely penned an episode of Little House that required his character getting down and dirty with some hard labor, which gave him the opportunity to remove his shirt.

Michael Landon, 1969 (photo by Richard R. Hewett) Everett Collection

“He looked wonderful with his bare torso sweating while he worked,” Grassle admits in her book. Whenever Landon’s character suffered an injury such as a broken rib, that would also give him the opportunity to remove articles of clothing, which he took advantage of. Alison Arngrin, who played Nellie Oleson, echoed the notion that Landon would try to get sexy on purpose in various ways. In her book, Confessions of a Prairie Bitch, she reveals that Landon would go commando under his tight-fitting breeches.

LITTLE HOUSE ON THE PRAIRIE, (from left): Mathew Laborteaux, Michael Landon, Karen Grassle, Melissa Sue Anderson, ‘Make Them Proud, Part II’, (Season 6, ep. 619, aired Feb. 4, 1980), 1974-1983. ©NBC / Courtesy: Everett Collection

Can you recall any episodes of Little House where Landon looked extra sexy and macho? Let us know in the comments! And if you want to learn more about Landon and his life and career, check out our YouTube video below.

Show comments
Published by

Recent Posts

The Cast Of The Original ‘MacGyver’ Then And Now 2023

UPDATED JUNE 6, 2023 His mind is the ultimate weapon. The guy who once said,…

21 mins ago

Why Brooke Shields Warned Her Daughter Not To Pursue Modeling

Former supermodel, Brooke Shields, found herself in a fix when her younger daughter, Grier, expressed…

58 mins ago

Why Kirstie Alley Was Gifted A Shotgun As A Welcome Gift On The Set Of ‘Cheers’

The late Kirstie Alley got an unconventional gift when she joined the popular TV series…

11 hours ago

Farrah Fawcett Was Relentless In Her Struggles With Cancer, Says Close Friend

Charlie's Angels star Farrah Fawcett fought a public and courageous battle with cancer after she…

13 hours ago

Disneyland Visitors Officially Say Goodbye To Splash Mountain

Since its opening in 1955, Disneyland has grown, transformed, and replaced parts of its familiar…

13 hours ago

61-Year-Old ‘Partridge Family’ Star Danny Bonaduce Undergoing Brain Surgery

Danny Bonaduce, star of the '70s musical sitcom The Partridge Family, is undergoing brain surgery.…

19 hours ago