Little House on the Prairie

‘Little House on the Prairie’: Michael Landon Secretly Watched This Stand-In Before Asking Her on a Date

Little House on the Prairie star Michael Landon spoke about the moment he met the woman who would change his life. She was a stand-in on the series, but she made a big impression on him. Here’s what Landon said about the time he met his third wife, Cindy Landon.

How Michael Landon met Cindy Landon

Landon and Cindy met on the set of Little House on the Prairie. A stand-in was needed for the children, so she was hired for the job. Cindy was chosen because she was short and blond, according to Landon in his final interview for Life magazine in 1991.

In her book, Bright Lights, Prairie Dust, Karen Grassle (she played Caroline Ingalls) says Landon’s budding relationship with Cindy made things awkward around the set. According to her, Landon and Cindy began walking further away from the cast and crew so they could talk. She says everyone was aware of what was happening (Landon was married and Cindy was reportedly 18 years old at the time), but they “looked away.”

Michael Landon secretly watched Cindy

Landon was smitten when he first laid eyes on Cindy. He said her first assignment was to sit on a stump while he focused a camera lens on her. He said his first thought when he saw her was, “What a fascinating young woman.” He went on to say he thought Cindy had a “wonderful” smile.

Landon continued to watch and admire Cindy. He was impressed when he saw her interacting with the children on the set. He noticed how her personality would shine when she was around the children

“She was so open and natural and warm, and she had a great, great laugh,” Landon told Life. “I watched how people gathered around her. There was something about her way, her being, that was fascinating.”

Landon said when he looked at Cindy through his camera, he began watching her through a stronger lens. The stronger lens gave him a feeling of being close to her.

“I began watching her through stronger and stronger lenses,” admitted Landon in his interview for Life. He said Cindy had no idea what he was doing. “Without her knowing, it was as if I was just inches from her face,” he continued. “Staring at her lips. Looking deep into her eyes.”

Michael Landon ‘had to have’ Cindy in his life

Landon did whatever he could to get Cindy’s attention. He was drawn to her and wanted to be near her as much as possible. He said he would do small things like announce he was going to get a snow cone and ask if she wanted one. Another way he tried to get her attention was by doing silly things. One day, after he heard her talk about men with hair on their chest, Landon got fake hair from the set and put it on his chest as a joke. He paraded around until Cindy saw him.

After a cast party, Landon made his move and asked Cindy if he could see her later that night. She agreed. Landon said things developed quickly between them after that. One complication was that Landon was married at the time to his second wife, Lynn Noe.

Landon told Life he felt guilty about the feelings he developed for Cindy, but he also knew he “had to have her” in his life. He quickly fell in love. Said Landon, “The more I saw her, the more I loved her.”

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