Michael Landon’s third wife, Cindy Clerico, stayed with the actor until his death after their relationship destroyed some of his friendships.
The name Michael Landon might not resonate with young moviegoers; however, the Hollywood actor was a huge drawback in the 1970s. Landon, born in Queens, New York, made his acting debut when he got cast in a starring TV role in the show “Telephone Time.” The actor would later follow that up with appearances in minor television roles, including “Playhouse 90.” However, Landon made his film debut in the 1957 movie “I was a Teenage Werewolf,” which became a cult hit.
Landon became even more famous when he portrayed little Joe in the western series “Bonanza,” which aired from 1959 to 1973. The series also became the number-one show on television from 1964 to 1967. Nonetheless, London’s career-making role came when he starred as Charles Ingalls in the family television show “Little House on the Prairie” (1974-83). The role catapulted him to worldwide fame and made him a stable house in television series history. However, besides Landon’s acting prowess, the actor’s personal life also placed his name on the front pages of news outlets.
Landon’s Marriage History
Although Landon’s acting talents made him a name in Hollywood, that actor had his first wife, Dodie Levy-Fraser, to thank for his success. Dodie, a widow and mother of one before meeting the actor, helped build his career after their marriage on March 11, 1956. However, their marriage lasted only a couple of years after Landon cheated on her with a divorced model. His transgressions led to their divorce, which was finalized in December 1962.
Before the divorce became finalized, Landon was already in a deep relationship with Lynn Noe, and the two had already started a romantic relationship. However, as soon as Landon’s divorce from Levy-Fraser became finalized, he married Noe in a justice of the peace ceremony in Mexico. During the subsequent years, the duo became parents to four children: Leslie Ann, Michael Graham, Shawna Leigh, and Christopher Beau.
However, after almost two decades of marriage Landon’s promiscuous tendencies started threatening their marriage. The actor had met a much younger lady named Cindy Clerico on the sheet of “Little House On The Prairie.” Their relationship would prove to be the catalyst for Landon’s marriage to Noe. After 19 years of marriage, the couple called it quits and went their separate ways.
Who is Cindy Clerico?
When Landon met Clerico on the “Little House On The Prairie” set, she worked as a stand-in and makeup artist. Clerico, born in Los Angeles, started her career in the entertainment industry as a makeup artist. After meeting Landon, the duo quickly began a romantic relationship, and after Landon and Noe’s divorce became finalized, the actor married Clerico, who was 20 years his junior, in 1983.
Sadly their marriage would only last for eight years after Landon died in 1991. During their marriage, the couple became parents to two children. Now 65 years old, Clerico has spent most of her life under the radar. However, she appeared in the 1991 documentary “Michael Landon: Memories with Laughter and Love,” which was produced by Michael Landon Jr . She also starred in the movie “The Last Shot” in 2004 and the documentaries “Unity” and “The Eyes of Thailand.”
In 2018, Celeico found herself in the news when Forbes reported she wanted to sell her Malibu luxury beach house for $18 million. Years prior, when she purchased the home for about $7.5 million, Clerico had said:
“I have been thinking about making a change and moving back to the beach for some time. When I saw this property, I fell in love with it.”
Clerico and Landon’s Affair Was Controversial
During his stint on “Little House On The Prairie,” Landon was close to co-star Melissa Gilbert. The actress, in turn, became more like family to Landon as Gilbert was also very close to Landon’s family, including his parents. However, when Gilbert received the news Landon was divorcing Noe, it broke Gilbert’s heart.
Although Gilbert had noticed Landon and Clerico’s relationship developing while filming “Little House On The Prairie,” the actress didn’t think Landon would leave his 19 years of marriage for the makeup artist. However, when it happened, Gilbert stopped socializing with Landon, and she kept their relationship strictly professional.
Where is Cindy Clerico Now?
After the death of Landon and her appearance in a handful of movies, Clerico seems to have turned her attention toward charity. Clerico is the current President of a foundation called the “Michael and Cindy Landon Foundation.” In addition, Clerico also supports several charities and organizations fighting cancer.