Shannen Doherty recalls how Michael Landon and 'Little House on the Prairie' shaped her: 'I adored him'

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Shannen Doherty has lots of love for her former mentor Michael Landon.

The "Charmed" actress, 53, revealed her former "Little House on the Prairie" co-star is the reason she fell in love with acting during Monday's episode of her "Let's Be Clear" podcast.

"I adored him," she said. "He was a mentor. He taught me so much."

Doherty went on to say that although some of her other acting jobs were "unenjoyable to be a part of" and "a little bit toxic," her experience as a child actor on "Little House" was the best of her career.

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Shannen Doherty paid tribute to Michael Landon on her "Let's Be Clear" podcast.
Shannen Doherty paid tribute to Michael Landon on her "Let's Be Clear" podcast.

"It was really the experience on 'Little House' that spurred that passion on for being an actor, and it was having a mentor like Michael Landon," she said. "And I don't care what anybody else's experience was like. I know the truth about that man, and he was just unbelievable. So, so, so talented, so kind, so considerate. It really helped shape me."

Landon was "incredibly caring for my entire family," she added.

In 2021, Karen Grassle, who played Caroline Ingalls on "Little House," alleged that Landon could be a sexist bully on set and would make "disgusting jokes" and other inappropriate comments, according to the New York Post.

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Doherty initially worked with Landon when she had her first television role on "Father Murphy" in the early 1980s. "I was so excited because it was a Michael Landon-produced TV show," she noted on the podcast.

This led her to be cast as Jenny Wilder on "Little House on the Prairie" beginning in the series' ninth season. Landon played Charles Ingalls on the show.

"I just remember being seriously overjoyed that I got to work with Michael again, because he was so kind and so funny and so witty and so smart," Doherty said.

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She also said that the "Highway to Heaven" actor was "very concerned" about her safety while directing her and "made me feel good," and she recalled that he taught her how to re-record dialogue as an actor. "That's Michael Landon 100% that taught me how to do that," she said.

Doherty was joined on the podcast by her mother, who agreed Landon was "really wonderful" and said that he once helped Doherty's father get an appointment with a doctor who was "very hard to get into."

"He knew that because he had taken the time to talk to your dad and know him," Doherty's mother said.

Landon died in 1991 from pancreatic cancer at age 54. Doherty has been open about her own battle with breast cancer after being diagnosed in 2015. Last year, she revealed the cancer had spread to her brain and later told People magazine it had spread to her bones.

"I'm not done with living," she told People. "I'm not done with loving. I'm not done with creating. I'm not done with hopefully changing things for the better. I'm just not — I'm not done."

This article originally appeared on USA TODAY: Shannen Doherty: Michael Landon, 'Little House' spurred love of acting