‘Little House on the Prairie’: Michael Landon’s Funeral Details Were Shared With Alison Arngrim in an Unusual Way

TheLittle House on the Prairie cast was devastated after hearing about the death of Michael Landon. The plan was for Landon to be honored during a private ceremony. Here’s the unusual way Alison Arngrim found out where the funeral would be held.

Alison Arngrim didn’t see Michael Landon before he died

Michael Landon as Charles Ingalls on Little House on the Prairie.
Michael Landon | Bettmann/Bettmann collection via Getty Images

Arngrim worked with Landon for seven seasons while playing Nellie Oleson on Little House on the Prairie, but she couldn’t muster up the strength to see him during his final days. In her book Confessions of a Prairie B****, Arngrim reveals she had many close friends who had died from AIDS. She says she was so familiar with how people looked before they were about to die that she could count the number of days they had left before they passed. She didn’t want to see Landon and start counting.

Arngrim “couldn’t bear the thought” of seeing the one person she “truly believed to be indestructible” slowly fading away on his death bed. After hearing the news of Landon’s death, she called her former co-star Melissa Gilbert, who she says was “hysterical.” Arngrim says all she wanted to do was “drive to [Gilbert’s] house and bring her a Slurpee.”

How Alison Arngrim learned about Michael Landon’s funeral details

According to Arngrim, the details of Landon’s funeral were kept private because his family didn’t want a media circus. The services were to be held at an undisclosed location. However, information about the funeral was leaked, and the National Enquirer called Arngrim to let her know the address. Arngrim says the National Enquirer “always knew everything first.”

Since the details got out, there was media presence at Landon’s funeral. Arngrim says there were five helicopters flying above the ceremony the entire time. She described the ceremony as “beautiful,” and said many celebrities attended, including Nancy and Ronald Reagan.

Michael Landon’s final interviews

During his final interviews with Johnny Carson and Life magazine, Landon said he was determined to beat cancer. He told Life he wanted to keep fighting because he wanted to be around for his wife and children. He told the publication that if he didn’t have a family, he might have been tempted to accept his cancer diagnosis, but he wanted to beat cancer so he could have more time with his loved ones.

Landon had chemotherapy, but he also began a treatment that emphasized diet and vitamins. He started juicing carrots and adding more fruit and vegetables to his diet. One part of his new meal plan he didn’t like was that his skin became discolored.

“Damn carrots are turning me orange,” joked Landon during an interview with Associated Press. “And every time I eat or drink, I swallow digestive enzymes to replace what the pancreas has stopped producing. 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.”

RELATED: ‘Little House on the Prairie’: Alison Arngrim Describes the Moment She Passed Out During the First Week of Filming

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