‘Little House on the Prairie’: Michael Landon Had ‘Not So Subtle Sex Appeal’ Says Melissa Francis

Little House on the Prairie actor Michael Landon quickly became a household name after starring in Bonanza as Little Joe Cartwright. By the time he moved on to Little House, he had amassed quite a fan following. Landon wasn’t just popular among his fans. He also caught the attention of the women he worked with.

Former co-star Melissa Francis (she played Cassandra Ingalls, the adopted daughter of Charles and Caroline Ingalls) says Landon had a “not-so-subtle sex appeal.” Here’s what she said about the affect he had on the ladies.

Melissa Francis says Michael Landon’s prairie pants were ‘tight’

Michael Landon holds an ax while on the Little House on the Prairie set.
Michael Landon | NBCU Photo Bank

According to Francis’ book Lessons from the Prairie, Landon liked to “throw in” some “not-so-subtle sex appeal” so he could reel in female viewers. In her book, she says his prairie pants were “just a little too tight.” She also says his shirts were usually unbuttoned for “no reason” and he liked to have his chest on display.

Francis says she didn’t view Landon in a sexual way at the time because she was a child, but she did notice how the women on the set reacted to him. She says whenever Landon “strutted his stuff across the studio,” the women would “simper.”

One person who reportedly didn’t appreciate Landon’s “strutting” was the late Katherine MacGregor (she played Mrs. Oleson). Alison Arngrim (she played Nellie Oleson) wrote about Landon and how MacGregor reacted to him. “[Landon] was hard not to notice,” says Arngrim in her book Confessions of a Prairie B****. “He didn’t walk. He strutted. He swaggered. Like a peacock.”

Arngrim says the way Landon carried himself on the set annoyed some of the actors. Arngrim says MacGregor told her she didn’t like Landon as soon as she saw him because of the way he “strutted” into the room “like a baby bantam rooster.”

Karen Grassle noticed Michael Landon

Although Grassle reportedly had a strained relationship with Landon because of her contract dispute, she mentions in her book Bright Lights, Prairie Dust, that she found him attractive. She says when she met him for the first time, she couldn’t help but notice how handsome he was.

Grassle was familiar with Landon from his Bonanza days, and when she met him in person, she was struck by his looks. She mentions a time when she was rehearsing lines with Landon, and he got very close to her. Grassle says she had to concentrate very hard so she wouldn’t become distracted by the good-looking actor.

Alison Arngrim thought Michael Landon was attractive

Arngrim also noticed how good-looking Landon was. During an interview with Megyn Kelly, Arngrim acknowledges Landon was a handsome man. Kelly says she watched Landon on television when she was a little girl, but as she got older, her view of him changed. “You know you’re old when pa starts looking hot,” she joked. Arngrim responds by saying, “Hubba, hubba.”

Landon was handsome onscreen, but Arngrim says he was even more attractive in person. “He was actually more gorgeous in person if that is physically possible,” says Arngrim. She also says he was a “stunning” and “gorgeous man.”

RELATED: ‘Little House on the Prairie’: Did Michael Landon Really Know How to Ride a Horse?

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