Doug McClure & Michael Landon Friendship

ffb3395f970ec7a71524d77e5b6c218dIt might not be common knowledge but Doug McClure and Michael Landon were good friends dating back to their early days on The Virginian and Bonanza. Both were born within a year of each other and receiving their big breaks on TV Westerns. Landon spoke affectionately of Doug McClure in the late 1980s and Doug returned the favor in an interview in 1990.

“Doug has always been one of the really nice people in the business. He was always like a kid,” Landon told freelance writer Tom Ito.

Doug told Ito, “The spirit of our friendship during those early years, I think, was the living of our dreams… there was a sense of friendly competition in the way that we were trying to do the best we could being Little Joe or Trampas.”

Sadly they would both succumb to cancer at a relatively young age. Micheal Landon in 1991 and Doug McClure in 1995.

As I was writing this post I learned of the death of Bonanza creator and producer David Dortort on September 5 at the age of 93.

Quotes are from Conversations With Michael Landon by Tom Ito. Copyright Contemporary Books, Chicago 1995.


Author: PGreen

Published work in U.S.A. for McFarland & Co. Inc. : A History of Television’s The Virginian 1962-1971 (2006, 2009 Softcover edition) Pete Duel : A Biography (2007, 2009 Large Print edition; Kindle edition) Encyclopedia of Weird Westerns (2009) Jennifer Jones : Life and Films (2011)

One thought on “Doug McClure & Michael Landon Friendship”

  1. It is nice to know that Doug was friends with Michael Landon and that Michael thought so highly of him, But then, from what I’ve heard, Doug was friends with just about everybody, he never had anything bad to say about anyone and that worked the other way, too. I read somewhere, but can’t find the article now, that someone said that if Doug heard you talking about someone he didn’t like, he would say “Oh, they’re not that bad” rather than join in saying bad things about the person, As I say, I can’t remember where I read it, but it stuck in my mind and I try to be like that and follow Doug’s example. I don’t always succeed, but I try. I think Doug was someone who could teach you how to be a better person.

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