Michael Landon’s Daughter Says He Put His Health “Aside” Amid Cancer Battle

Courtesy of Leslie Landon Matthews via Fox New Digital

Known for his iconic roles in “Bonanza” and “Little House On The Prairie,” Michael Landon was an esteemed actor who earned a place as a beloved star among many fans.

Michael Landon was diagnosed with an aggressive form of pancreatic cancer in April 1991. At the time of his diagnosis, the cancer had already spread to the tissues and blood vessels around his pancreas.

Just three months later, on July 1, 1991, at the age of 54, Michael Landon sadly passed away, marking a tragic end to his battle with the disease.

Headshot of Michael Landon (1936-1991), US actor, in a publicity portrait issued for the US television series, 'Bonanza', USA, circa 1970. The western series starred Landon as 'Joseph 'Little Joe' Cartwright'. (Photo by Silver Screen Collection/Getty Images)
Silver Screen Collection / Getty Images

RELATED: 11+ Photos Of Michael Landon From His 40+ Year Career

In a recent interview with Fox News Digital, Landon’s daughter, Leslie Landon Matthews, shared a few insights into her late father’s approach to health check-ups.

She mentioned that Michael Landon had a stubborn nature and did not prioritize his health, often resisting scheduling physicals throughout his life. She also shared that she believed her father may have put his health “aside” and that staying on top of his health was “not a priority” for him.

“The one thing that I know was part of my dad’s personality was his stubbornness,” Matthews said. “And I don’t think staying on top of his health was a priority.”

Matthews talked about how her father’s strong-willed personality influenced his approach to health management.

“I know that my mom often talked about getting him to his physicals. [That] was always a feat. And so, by the time my dad was having uncontrollable pain in his stomach, he was on vacation with my stepmom and younger sibling…He flew home early from Utah to go to his doctor’s appointment. He couldn’t ignore it anymore.”

According to Matthews, her father may have realized the importance of regular health check-ups more if he were alive today. She said that she thinks he might have regretted not staying on top of his health and if he was alive today, he would say, “Boy, I blew it.”

During the interview, Matthews also emphasized the significance of not putting off any symptoms and urged people not to neglect their health, mentioning just how quickly her father’s cancer has taken him.

“If you’re a caretaker, you’re taking care of your kids and your household, you [do] get busy and distracted. And, of course, your main priority is your family. So, it’s very easy to put your health on the back burner. You need to schedule [your checkups] just like you would for anything else in your life and make it a priority.”

“I think he would be blown away by what’s been done with the research and with the progress of pancreatic cancer. From diagnosis to death, it was three months for him. It was a very short amount of time that he had.”

Recently, Leslie Landon Matthews participated in PanCAN’s significant annual fundraiser, PanCAN PurpleStride, to support the cause and raise awareness of pancreatic cancer.

This nationwide event, which took place across nearly 60 cities for the third consecutive year, brought together survivors, supporters, and loved ones, showcasing her dedication to making a difference in the fight against the deadly disease.

Just a few months ago, the cast of “Little House On The Prairie” reunited for its 50th anniversary, taking a moment to honor Michael Landon.

Melissa Gilbert, who played Landon’s on-screen daughter, Laura, expressed, “Our relationship immediately became parental. But he treated us when he worked with us like contemporaries, not like kids.”

The cast of the television series 'Little House on the Prairie' with a dog on the set of the show, mid 1970s. Clockwise from left: American actors Melissa Gilbert, Michael Landon (1936 - 1991), Karen Grassle, who holds an unidentified baby, Melissa Sue Anderson, and Lindsay or Sidney Greenbush. (Photo by Fotos International/Getty Images)
Fotos International / Getty Images

Did you know that Michael Landon had a brief career as a singer before the show?

Watch the “Little House On The Prairie” cast reunion on Good Morning America below.