Michael Landon Said After His Death He Would Just Be ‘Hair in a Coffin’

Little House on the Prairie star Michael Landon was known not only for his acting but also his hair. He took great care to make sure his hair looked just right. Landon’s tresses were often the subject of interviews. The Charles Ingalls star even joked that long after his death, the only thing left of him would be “hair in a coffin.”

Michael Landon thought his hair gave him strength

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

During a 1983 interview with the Washington Post, Landon discussed his hair and what it meant to him. He says when he was younger, he believed his hair gave him strength, like the Bible character Samson.

“I’m not kidding,” he told the publication. “I weighed 125 pounds in senior high school, and I was the best javelin thrower in the United States by far. Well that just doesn’t make sense. But it does to me because I’d let my hair grow longer and longer and longer.”

According to Landon, when he was a student at the University of Southern California, a group of guys held him down and shaved his head. He says after that incident he didn’t have as much strength and he couldn’t throw the javelin anymore. He later quit school because of an arm injury.

Michael Landon cared a lot about his hair

In the book Conversations with Michael Landon, author Tim Ito described Landon’s hair as “unforgettable.” Landon began going gray at an early age, so he used to dye it regularly. According to the Washington Post, Landon dyed his hair medium ash brown. He also cut his own hair because he “had a thing” about being in crowds.

Michael Landon joked he would be nothing more than ‘hair in a coffin’

During his interview with the Washington Post, Landon discussed fatherhood. At the time he had eight children. He told the reporter he wanted to have one more child. When asked if he would survive long enough to have a ninth child, Landon joked that his hair would outlast him. “My hair will last,” said Landon. “My whole body will be gone. It will just be hair in a coffin.”

Landon even joked about his hair during what would be his final interview with talk show host Johnny Carson. He told Carson he made sure to dye his roots before appearing on the show. “I had my roots done yesterday,” Landon proclaimed.

Carson was surprised that he would go through the trouble of dyeing his hair, considering he was so sick at the time. Not even a cancer diagnosis would keep Landon from looking good for the show. Carson asked, “For this show?” Landon replied, “Sure. Two blood transfusions and my roots done.”

Michael Landon said he was ‘insecure’

Although Landon seemed to have it all, he admitted to being insecure. Ito praised Landon’s work, saying the actor “put together beautiful pieces of entertainment” that were written well. For Ito, watching Landon’s shows was just as fulfilling as going to the museum and looking at a piece of art.

Landon by saying he would love to record his words and listen to them every Monday morning when he went to work. He went on to say he appreciated those kind words because he often felt insecure. “I’m not kidding you!” said Landon. “I am as insecure as any other artist.”

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