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The beloved late actor Michael Landon raised 6 children throughout his life, including Christopher Landon. That's right, today's iHorror nominee is the son of pa from Little House on the Prairie! Now that the screenwriter has welcomed his second child, he’s become a family man himself. Let’s see how Chris has made a name for himself in the horror industry!
After attending acting school, Eugene Maurice Orowitz became known as Michael Landon. He was born in Queens, New York on October 31, 1936. His father, Eli Maurice Orowitz, and mother, Peggy O'Neill, were both actors. At the age of 5, they moved to Collingswood, New Jersey.
His father, Michael Landon was known as Little Joe Cartwright in Bonanza from 1959–1973. If you watched Little House on the Prairie, you know him best as the patriarch lead, Charles Ingalls. Michael also created, directed, and starred as Jonathan Smith in Highway to Heaven.
Michael has two adopted sons from his first marriage with Dodie Fraser. in 1963, he married Lynn Noe and the two would go on to have four children: Leslie Ann (October 1963), Michael Graham (June 1965), Shawna Leigh (December 1971) and Christopher Beau in 1975.
Leslie Ann has her Ph.D. in psychology from the University of Southern California and has been a family therapist since November 1999. His second eldest sibling, Michael Graham, or Michael Jr., is a director and producer in Hollywood. Michael Jr. is married to Sharee Gregory and has three kids.
Christopher Landon was born in Los Angeles, California. He often recalled many famous celebrities visiting the house for dinner, including the King of Late Night, Johnny Carson. After his parents divorced, he typically spent weekends at his dad’s Malibu farm complete with horse stables.
His dad married Cindy Landon, formerly Cindy Clerico, on February 4th, 1983. Michael became the stepfather to Cindy's daughter Cheryl Ann Pontrelli and the couple went on to have two children together! Jennifer Rachel was born on August 29, 1983. Sean Matthew was born in June 1986 and later became a real estate developer.
Jennifer, Christopher's half-sister, followed in their father's footsteps as a young actress. She is most known for her roles in the CBS soap opera, "As the World Turns", "House M.D." and "Animal Kingdom". She once shared an early memory of her father when he used strawberry Nestle Quik to turn the snow around their ski lodge pink!
For most of his adolescence, Christopher identified more with “misfits”. During grade school, he became the target of slurs regarding his sexual orientation from classmates. Furthermore, his family was also the subject of a lot of publicity because of his dad's romantic life.
Christopher was only 16 when his father passed away from pancreatic cancer. Throughout his life, Michael was a family man on and off the screen. Before his death from pancreatic cancer in 1991, Chris said, “I was father, and he was the son. I had to help him up the stairs.”
Christopher attended Loyola Marymount University in Los Angeles for three years where he wrote the screenplay for Another Day in Paradise. He actually wrote the script at the age of 19 and dropped out of school to work with Larry Clark to turn the script into a film which was released in 1998.
The film followed the lives of three thieves who are drug addicts: Mel, Sid, and Bobbie played by James Woods, Melanie Griffith, and Vincent Kartheiser, respectively. In 1999, the movie was awarded the Grand Prix at the annual Festival du Film Policier de Cognac. The film is based on the novel of the same name by Eddie Little.
It was announced in The Advocate of December 1999 that Christopher had come out as gay. He was already building up his name as a young screenwriter so before building up the courage to come out he had reservations: “I thought an article about me would come out with the headline `Little House on the Fairy' or `Highway to Hell.”
Instead of focusing on headlines, Chris took to this work. He's completely driven towards his work. In the early 2000s, he was working on his script for Blood and Chocolate, which he described as "Romeo and Juliet meets The Howling." The film, released in 2007, is based on the novel by Annette Curtis Klause.
Chris' breakout led him to a brick wall in his Hollywood career. After writing Larry Clark’s “Another Day in Paradise” while only 19 years old, Landon left Los Angeles for Austin, Texas, unsure of what to do with his life. But he quickly figured it out with his screenplay that became a box office hit.
Christopher's big break came after he moved back to Los Angeles when he wrote the script for "Disturbia." The thriller is about a teenager on house arrest who starts spying on his neighbors to pass the time until he sees something disturbing at his neighbor's house. The movie spent three weeks at No. 1 and earned almost $80 million domestically.
After the success In 2010, Chris wrote and directed Burning Palms, a comedy thriller about the lives of five individuals in Los Angeles. The film starred Oscar nominee Rosamund Pike, well-renowned actress Zoe Saldana, and Golden Globe winner Dylan McDermott.
While working on Burning Palms, he also wrote the screenplay for the sequel of Paranormal Activity. He went on to write for the franchise’s 3rd and 4th installments following their success. In 2014, he returned for the 5th of the series, “Paranormal Activity: The Marked Ones” which Chris was nominated for an iHorror Award for Best Horror Remake/Sequel.
Landon told Screen Rant that he wanted to take a different approach for Happy Death Day 2U, “I didn’t want to make the same movie twice.” He even mentions that in both movies, there is an easter egg to Back to the Future. Behind the main character’s bed, there’s a poster of the classic 80s film.
This is a bit of a spoiler, but when asked if he would take a fantasy version of his life or reality, Chris said he’d pick reality. He said the movie’s lesson is to take ownership of all aspects of life, even the bad parts. “You can’t live in a fantasy version of your life because it’s not you.”
The collaborators shared with Collider that they didn’t initially think about having a sequel for the Happy Death Day. “It wasn’t until I was in post and editing and almost done where I suddenly was struck by an idea.” He shared the idea with Jason, and the sequel to the hit horror franchise hit the ground running.
The second film introduces the concept of the multiverse, that anything is possible. Chris had a theory about the rise of multiverse storytelling seen in Netflix’s Russian Doll and Spider-verse. “I think everybody wishes that we were in an alternate dimension where things were better. I think that the world feels tumultuous more than ever… at least for my generation.”
After his success with the franchise, many horror fans speculated a follow-up to Death Days. Unfortunately, Landon does not seem too interested in following it up with a third movie, but he is working on another project! He has said that Blumhouse Productions is "a really good home for a filmmaker."
He announced that he would be working with Jason Blum, the creator of the production company. “I can’t get into specifics at all, which I would love nothing more than to do,” he continued, “It’s one of those movies that you sort of go, ‘Wait, why hasn’t that been done before?’” We are at the edge of our seats!
In 2017, Chris announced that he and his partner, Cody Morris would become parents to Beau Landon Morris. ‘He is the light of our lives,’ Landon wrote on an Instagram post celebrating the experience. ‘Get ready for endless posts…LOL.’ Well here is the couple's first son three years later!
Chris has definitely followed up on his promise for more family updates. On December 15, 2020, the Landon-Morris family announced a new addition to their family: August Kelly Landon-Morris. The two fathers have been settling down with their second son in the mix. The whole family just celebrated Valentine's Day together and Chris posted this cute family photo!
Michael Landon was truly one of the most beloved father figures on television. While Chris took quite a different path to Hollywood, he still shares so much in common with his late father: they're both family men. Chris is always posting cute updates about his family while still writing for horror flicks. Are you excited for his next Blumhouse project?