by auditioning contributor Emily
Jennifer Landon, 21, who plays Gwen Norbeck on the soap series "As the World Turns" is speaking out about her late famous father, Michael Landon. "Sometimes I’m glad he’s not here," she jokes about how he might have disapproved of some of the things she does on her show.
Michael Landon passed away in 1991 of of pancreatic cancer at the age of 54. He was best known for his roles as Little Joe on "Bonanza," Pa Ingalls on "Little House on the Prairie," and Jonathan Smith of "Highway to Heaven." Jennifer was one of nine children born to the handsome actor.
Says Jennifer of her learning of her father’s illness at the young age of 7, "I was not ready. I wasn’t ready to hear it at all, not at all." Michael tried to fight off the illness with homeopathic remedies such as acupunture. But after Jennifer was told to say her last goodbyes to her dad, she says, "I cried when they did that. They took me over there. I was like, ‘No, I don’t want to! I don’t want to."’
But Jennifer is keeping busy with acting now. She attended the Tisch School of Arts in New York University and now lives in Manhattan, where she works on "As the World Turns." But she’ll never forget her father. "I think there’s a part of me that has not gotten older, right since then," she says.