Michael Landon (October 31, 1936 - July 1, 1991), was an American actor, producer and director. Landon's father, Eli Maurice Orowitz, was a Jewish American and his mother, Peggy O'Neill, was an Irish American Catholic.
Landon was best known for his starring roles in three TV series spanning three decades. In the 1960s he starred as "Little Joe" on Bonanza. In the 1970s and into the 1980s, he starred as Charles Ingalls in Little House On The Prairie and later in Highway to Heaven as an angel, also in the 1980s. Landon also often directed the last two series. He was also a long running co-host (with Kelly Lange) of NBC's popular worldwide broadcast coverage of the annual "Tournament of Roses Parade."