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Michael Landon biting his lip
Details About Michael Landon’s Affair With Cindy Clerico
History - Science
In the 1970s, Michael Landon was "America's favorite Dad," per Showbiz CheatSheet, thanks to his role in "Little House On The Prairie." That all changed when he met Cindy Clerico.
Before meeting Clerico, Landon was married with five children, and his kids and wife Lynn Noe had a good relationship with his co-stars on "Little House."
Clerico was an 18-year-old who was hired as a stand-in for Melissa Francis, who played Cassandra Cooper Ingalls. After Landon met Clerico, his behavior started to change.
Karen Grassle, who played Landon's TV wife Caroline "Ma" Ingalls, described Clerico in her 2021 memoir "Bright Lights, Prairie Dust: Life, Loss and Love from Little House's Ma."
Grassle wrote that he began to talk about his "revived libido" and extoll the benefits of "bee pollen for the aging male." These comments were due to his affair with Clerico.
Landon's affair with Cindy Clerico had major consequences. It made things "incredibly awkward" on the set of "Little House" because the cast knew Landon's family, Grassle wrote.
She recalled, "I knew his wife. She had been kind to me. And I thought about her children — there were three of them still at home ... and younger than Cindy."
The affair also hurt Landon's relationship with Melissa Gilbert, who played his TV daughter Laura. "I was put in a horribly, uncomfortable position,” she wrote in her memoir.
When Lynn Noe learned of the affair, she confronted her husband and threw a bottle of vodka at his head, per the New York Post. Eventually, the pair split up.
Cindy Clerico became pregnant before the divorce could be finalized, and Landon and Clerico were married in 1983. The entire situation hurt Landon's career and relationships.