Michael Landon was more than just a co-star for Melissa Gilbert when they appeared in “Little House on the Prairie” together. He was a father figure, friend, and confidant to the actress.
So, when he passed away in 1991, Gilbert was one of the countless others who mourned the beloved actor. It was pancreatic cancer that claimed Landon’s life at the young age of 54 years old. In addition to “Little House on the Prairie,” fans loved Landon for his work in “Bonanza” and “Highway to Heaven.”
Unsurprisingly, Melissa Gilbert has never forgotten her “Little House on the Prairie” co-star. She has also never forgotten another friend who lost his battle with pancreatic cancer. That friend was movie star Patrick Swayze. He lost his battle with pancreatic cancer in 2009. He was just 57 years old. Swayze was the star of such beloved films as “Dirty Dancing,” “Ghost,” “Road House,” and “Point Break.”
In a recent social media post, Gilbert shared how she and others are hoping to find a way to prevent pancreatic cancer from claiming the lives of others. The post included two photos. One was of Gilbert with Landon. The other was her with Swayze.
“It’s Pancreatic Cancer Awareness Month! I’m joining @PanCAN to raise awareness for this disease in honor of Michael Landon and Patrick Swayze,” Melissa Gilbert shared on Instagram on Monday, Nov. 1.
The “Little House on the Prairie” actress also urged her fans and followers to provide financial support to Pancreatic Cancer Action Network. “Please donate to PanCAN to help provide free, one-to-one support and services to #pancreaticcancer patients and their families,” Gilbert wrote. You can check out her post below.
Fans Share Their Personal Stories in Response to ‘Little House on the Prairie’ Star Melissa Gilbert’s Post About Pancreatic Cancer
In response to Melissa Gilbert’s Instagram post, some of her fans and followers shared how pancreatic cancer has impacted their lives and the lives of the people they love.
“My husband’s mom AND dad died from pancreatic cancer. We’ve been told there’s no way to screen for it. That needs to change! Earlier detection is a must!” one fan shared.
“I lost my grandma to pancreatic cancer in 2015. Now I’m trying to show awareness” another follower commented. “My husband died of that too,” one fan also shared.
Another fan of Melissa Gilbert shared memories of “Little House on the Prairie” star Michael Landon. “It’s was like yesterday I remember he was telling people he was going to beat it I remember he was on a show and he was doing push-ups,” this fan said.
Still another fan fondly remembered both Landon and Swayze. “Two of my fav actors gone from this horrible disease. Thank you for helping bring attention to it…” this person wrote.