How Many Kids Did Michael Landon Have? The Actor was Father to 9 Children

Introduction to Michael Landon’s Prolific Career

Over a near 40-year acting career on screens big and small, Michael Landon embodied several iconic roles starting with Little Joe Cartwright on beloved Western series Bonanza. Following that breakout, he starred in various other memorable projects before sadly dying too young at age 54 from pancreatic cancer.

In addition to leaving behind these staples of television history, the prolific Michael Landon also fathered an equally large family over his lifetime – nine children with three different wives to be exact.

First Marriage Produced Four Kids

Soon after finding TV fame, Landon wed his college sweetheart Dodie Levy-Fraser in 1956. Over the first dozen years being a steadily-working actor, he became a father of four times over with Dodie:

  • Mark Landon – born in 1948
  • Josh Landon – born in 1960
  • Rachel Landon – born in 1963
  • Shawna Landon born in 1971

The couple ultimately separated after nearly 20 years together.

Adopted Son Then Divorce Number Two Added Three More Kids

Just a couple years after he and Levy-Fraser parted ways, Michael Landon was married again – this time to actress Lynn Noe in 1963. The second union resulted in Landon adopting her young son Michael from a previous relationship. The pair then welcomed two additional biological children:

  • Cheryl Lynn Landon – born in 1968
  • Leslie Landon – born in 1962

Landon’s second marriage lasted over two decades before ending as well in the early 1980s.

Late-in-Life Third Marriage Added Two Youngest Children

By this point, Michael Landon was already a father of seven kids from past relationships spanning three decades. But at 54 years old, he and third wife Cindy Clerico brought two more children into his extensive brood shortly before his tragic 1989 cancer death:

  • Jennifer Rachel Landon – born 1983
  • Sean Matthew Landon – born 1986

Jennifer and Sean Landon were both very young, pre-school ages when their famous father passed – making them the recipients of a trust funded by Michael’s existing fortune to subsidize education and expenses into adulthood despite losing their dad early.


Whether displaying his talents on-screen in shows like Highway to Heaven or shepherding a family of nine kids navigating three marriages, Michael Landon will always be recalled as focused on heartfelt family values and purveying beloved American entertainment.

With nine children surviving him, Michael Landon left a rich legacy both through prolific acting achievements and a sprawling family tree that extended long after the icon left screens and this world much too early at age 54 still in his storytelling prime.

Frequently Asked Questions

Q: How many biological kids did Michael Landon have?

A: He fathered six children biologically from marriages then adopted the three step-kids from second wife Lynn Noe.

Q: What show did Michael Landon’s daughter Leslie star on?

A: Daughter Leslie Landon played a key character across seasons of her dad’s beloved series Little House on the Prairie.

Q: How many of Michael Landon’s kids act?

A: In addition to Leslie’s roles, several other children like Jennifer, Josh and Sean Landon have gone into acting or production over the years.

Q: What tributes exist honoring Michael Landon?

A: A statue and park dedicated to Landon stand in his hometown of Collingswood, New Jersey honoring his acting legacy.

Q: How much wealth did Michael Landon leave behind?

A: Estimates placed his estate’s worth around $100 million total between existing assets and ongoing royalties. Portions were designated to each of his nine children.

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