Michael Landon on being comfortable in your own shirt

A new-fangled wardrobe is never the key to success.

Try as we might, it's hard to keep up with all the latest trends. Fads and phases come and go, and what are we left with afterward? No, it's much easier, and much more satisfying, to stay true to who we are, regardless of the latest and greatest happening around us. 

For proof, just look to Michael Landon. That handsome son with a gun (Little Joe packed a pistol, after all) was decidedly himself across many different Hollywood projects. Landon put a bit of himself and his values into any show he appeared in, from Bonanza to Little House on the Prairie and on through Highway to Heaven. His trust in himself and who he was paid off big time.

But, these were instincts that Landon had to learn the hard way. Being himself wasn't always his first thought. In a 1960 interview with The Tampa Bay Times, Landon spoke at length about the ways he developed a knack for bucking the trends in favor of presenting his true self.

"Back in the days before Bonanza, I was sent out on a tour to promote my record. I had an appearance lined up in a good-sized town in the Midwest and I bought the clothes I was told youngsters liked. I had fancy coats and horrible-looking shirts with metallic threads running through them — I actually cut myself putting one of them on one day.

'When it came time for my appearance I have to confess that I was embarrassed. The clothes were bad enough, but I also felt that I really didn't belong on the stage, especially since a big teenage favorite was also entertaining that day. I like to do anything I do as well as I possibly can, and I hadn't been singing very long. The result was that I had one song prepared."

There you have it, folks. You can chase trends all year long, but in the end, you stand alone with your decisions. The most important thing you can do is trust yourself. Or if you can't trust yourself, at least trust Michael Landon.

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5 Comments

cperrynaples 2 months ago
I wonder if he was ever comfortable in any shirt because I believe Landon had a hairy chest! He shaved it for Bonanza but not his other roles! On the other hand, Dan Blocker's chest was very hairy...LOL!
Runeshaper 2 months ago
Great lesson here: just be yourself.
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