‘Little House on the Prairie’: Michael Landon Hated Wearing Underwear on the Show
According to a show cast member, one of Landon’s eccentricities on the show’s set was his dislike of wearing underwear while in costume as Charles Ingalls.
Michael Landon loved walking around without a shirt
Alison Arngrim, who played the vicious Nellie Olsen on the drama, noted in her memoir Confessions of a Prairie B*tch that Michael Landon was fond of showing off his physique on the set of the morally centered series.
According to the actor, Landon enjoyed parading around the set. She said, “he knew he was sexy, and made sure everyone else knew it, too.”
Arngrim observed the Charles Ingalls actor was “gorgeous, absolutely breathtaking; all muscles and tanned skin, big white teeth, and a wild mane of shining, curly hair.”
Comparing him to wildly popular 1970s poster girl Farrah Fawcett, Arngrim said, “He was like a male version of a Farrah Fawcett poster. I sometimes wondered what he would look like in that red swimsuit.”
Arngrim said Landon hated wearing underwear
Landon’s attire on the set as Charles Ingalls was made up of his suspenders, wide-brimmed hat, and “the tightest pants you ever saw,” according to the Nellie Oleson actor. Arngrim observed that it was quite difficult to ignore the former Bonanza star’s glaring lack of undergarments.
His choice to not wear “a stitch of underwear” shocked her and the rest of the cast. “It was the 1970s, so tight jeans and no underwear was a popular fashion statement in Hollywood,” she wrote.
“But no underwear beneath his Charles Ingalls homespun trousers? In the 1800s? What on earth was he thinking?”
As Arngrim noted in her memoir, Landon’s wardrobe choice was not done by chance since “the largest part of our viewing audience at that point was women age 40-plus.”
“Michael knew exactly what they liked,” she said. “So the pants remained tight, the underwear remained in the drawer, and the shirt stayed off, displaying his even, perfectly tan chest, totally hairless, with the wide suspenders crossing right next to each nipple.”
The ‘Little House’ star who said Landon strutted like a rooster
Arngrim reminisced in her memoir about her television mother, Katherine MacGregor’s reaction to Michael Landon’s testosterone-heavy presence on the set of the show.
“[Landon] was hard not to notice,” she wrote. “He didn’t walk. He strutted. He swaggered. Like a peacock.
“His aura annoyed some people in the cast. I remember Katherine MacGregor telling me she disliked him on sight when, at her audition, he strutted into the room. ‘Like a baby bantam rooster!,’ she howled.”