‘Little House on the Prairie’: Michael Landon Admitted He Gave Himself Coffee Enemas to Help His Cancer

Little House on the Prairie stands as one of the most iconic TV shows ever, and it wouldn’t be the same without Michael Landon. Landon played Charles Ingalls, the father-figure on the show, and he helped direct and produce some of the episodes. Sadly, Landon died in 1991 due to pancreatic cancer — but his legacy lives on.

Prior to his death, Landon talked about everything he was doing to assist his health. And he mentioned coffee enemas were in the regimen.

Michael Landon from ‘Little House on the Prairie’ died from pancreatic cancer in 1991

Michael Landon as Charles Philip Ingalls on 'Little House on the Prairie'
Michael Landon as Charles Philip Ingalls on ‘Little House on the Prairie’ | NBCU Photo Bank

RELATED: ‘Little House on the Prairie’ Star Michael Landon Had a ‘Very Sad Home Life’: ‘He Lived in a Fantasy World’

Landon was known for his brilliant acting, big personality, and years of work in the film and TV industry. Unfortunately, he died in 1991 at the age of 54 due to pancreatic cancer.

He was survived by nine kids, as he had children from multiple marriages. And his kids have since reflected on what it was like losing their dad just three months after he was initially diagnosed.

“It is devastating beyond comprehension to lose a parent, especially at an early age,” Jennifer Landon, who was 7 at the time of his death, said, according to the Pancreatic Cancer Action Network. “When he passed away, I suddenly saw things differently and questioned everything. Even today I question rules and structure. I can’t say how much his death has affected me, but I know it’s a significant part of the fabric of who I am.”

Sean Landon was just 4 years old at the time his dad passed. “He always wanted to help the underdog, which is ironic because I see pancreatic cancer as an underdog disease – it’s not as mainstream as other cancers, and it needs much more attention,” he said.

Landon tried giving himself coffee enemas to help his cancer

Michael Landon and wife Cindy Clerico
Michael Landon and wife Cindy Clerico | Time Life Pictures/DMI/The LIFE Picture Collection via Getty Images

Pancreatic cancer doesn’t have a high survival rate, but Landon was determined to live. AP News notes he talked about what it was like receiving the diagnosis and still feeling healthy. And he also discussed his various methods of meeting his nutritional needs.

“I want to see my kids grow up,” Landon expressed at the time. “I want to play baseball with Sean (his 4- year-old son). I want to know if Jennifer (his 7-year-old daughter) turns out to be as good an actress as I think she will be. I want to watch Chris, my 16-year-old, become a man. I love my wife, Cindy, very much and I don’t want to leave her.″

As for the cancer, he noted he was taking a more holistic approach. He opted out of chemotherapy at first and instead went on a diet rich in vitamins. “D*mn carrots are turning me orange,” he said. “And every time I eat or drink, I swallow digestive enzymes to replace what the pancreas has stopped producing.”

Aside from his diet, he had one other unconventional health choice. “And then, once a day, I take a tried-and-true remedy for intestinal irritation – a coffee enema. Yup, I get filled to the rim. Organic coffee, I might add.”

‘Little House on the Prairie’ was filmed near a nuclear site 

'Little House on the Prairie'
‘Little House on the Prairie’ | NBCU Photo Bank

The set of Little House on the Prairie was filmed 15 films away from a nuclear laboratory — and there’s heavy speculation this could’ve led to Landon’s cancer diagnosis.

According to People, Reelz Channel aired an episode of Autopsy: The Last Hours of… that centered on Landon’s death. The episode investigated the Santa Susana Field Laboratory, as the California Department of Toxic Substances Control reported there was a “partial meltdown of a nuclear reactor” in 1959.

According to the narrator of the show, “scientists discovered that the Santa Susana lab had been the site of the worst radioactive disaster in U.S. history and that years of contamination had prompted a cancer epidemic.”

Forensic pathologist Dr. Michael Hunter also stated studies showed the location was “responsible for up to 2,000-cancer-related deaths and lead to a 60 percent increase in cancers such as lung, bladder, kidney, liver, blood, lymph node, upper digestive track and thyroid cancers.”

Even with the proximity to the area, Dr. Hunter notes it likely wasn’t the cause of Landon’s cancer — but we may never know for sure.

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