‘Little House on the Prairie’: 1 of Michael Landon’s Wives Also Appeared on ‘Bonanza’

Michael Landon played the role of patriarch Charles “Pa” Ingalls on Little House on the Prairie. In addition to being a main character in the family drama, Landon executive produced the series. 

Landon worked on Bonanza as Little Joe Cartwright before Little House. The role affected Landon both professionally and personally. 

LITTLE HOUSE ON THE PRAIRIE -- "I'll be Waving as You Drive Away: Part 1" Episode 21 -- Aired 03/06/1978
Michael Landon as Charles Philip Ingalls|Bruce Birmelin/NBCU Photo Bank

How many times was Michael Landon married? 

Before he died of pancreatic cancer in 1991, Landon married three different women. His first marriage was with Dodie Levy-Fraser in1956. Once they made it down the aisle, Landon adopted Fraser’s two children. Unfortunately, the couple divorced in 1962. After they split, Landon and Lynn Noe eloped in 1963. The pair went on to have four children together- Michael Landon, Jr., Leslie Landon, Shawna Landon, and Christopher Landon. Noe also had another daughter from a previous relationship. 

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Landon and Noe’s marriage lasted over a decade. In 1981, they divorced but continued to remain cordial for their children. Soon after they finalized their divorce, Landon married Cindy Clerico. 

During a 1985 interview with People, Landon joked that his Little House character would’ve been more like his real-life personality. He said divorce didn’t happen in the 1800s because “it was a long way to the next house in those days.”

Michael Landon’s second wife acted on ‘Bonanza’ 

Landon’s second wife, Noe, born Marjorie Lynn Noe, was also an actor. In the 1960s, Noe landed small roles in films like Around the World in 80 Days. She then booked another position as an extra on Bonanza

Marjorie Lynn Noe Landon, Michael Landon, Barbara Walters appearing on the ABC tv special 'The Barbara Walters Special'.
Marjorie Lynn Noe Landon, Michael Landon, and Barbara Walters|American Broadcasting Companies

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According to IMDb, Noe appeared on one episode of the series. It’s unclear if the job was where Noe and Landon met. Additionally, Landon and Fraser were still married.

Bonanza was Noe’s last acting role. She appeared on several episodes of The Mike Douglas Show until 1975. However, her career took a backseat to Landon’s, as Little House on the Prairie achieved massive success during their marriage. 

Why Michael Landon and Lynn Noe divorced

Landon and Noe married for 19 years. While he worked on Little House on the Prairie, Noe and the rest of Landon’s family became close with his co-stars. The pair put several cast members in uncomfortable positions in the early 1980s. During this time, Landon began spending time with Clerico. Clerico worked as a makeup artist and stand-in on the show. Soon, rumors surfaced that Landon and Clerico were having an affair. The couple seemingly confirmed the suspicions when Noe and Landon divorced in 1982. One year later, Clerico and Landon married. They had two children together and remained married until Landon died. 

UNITED STATES - JULY 01: Michael Landon with wife Cindy
Michael Landon and Cindy Clerico|The LIFE Picture Collection

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Noe told People that Clerico wasn’t to blame for her marriage ending. She admitted that her relationship with Landon was in trouble before Clerico came around. 

“I was too busy being the kind of wife he wanted me to be,” Noe said, adding that she “lost myself little by little,” and “made Michael my God.”

“If it hadn’t been Cindy, it would have been somebody,” she continued. “He had reached that point in his life.”