Yesterday's obituary of actor Michael Landon misidentified the character he played in the TV series "Little House on the prairie." He portrayed family patriarch Charles Ingalls. (Published 7/3/91)
Michael Landon, 54, the actor who starred in "Bonanza" and "Little House on the Prairie," two of television's most popular series, died yesterday at his home in Malibu, Calif.
Mr. Landon learned April 5 that he was suffering from inoperable cancer of the liver and pancreas, and his struggle against his ailments was widely publicized.
"As far as I know that was the cause of death," Evy Wagner, a staff member at Mr. Landon's production company, said yesterday evening.
In addition to acting, the slender, long-haired New York native was known in the entertainment industry as a demanding writer, director and producer who exercised close control over every phase of his productions and demonstrated a strong concern for family entertainment.
He was a producer as well as a star of "Little House on the Prairie," and was producer and star of "Highway to Heaven," his last series. Shooting was completed in December for the pilot of a new show, "US," in which he played a roving newspaper columnist.
"It's not like I've missed a hell of a lot," he said after his cancer was diagnosed. "I've had a pretty good lick here."
His cancer treatments, which included experimental therapies, became subjects for supermarket tabloids. "I certainly hope I don't lose my hair" during treatment, he said wryly, "since everybody has been reviewing my hair for 35 years."
In "Highway to Heaven," Mr. Landon portrayed Jonathan Smith, who died decades ago and had returned to Earth as an angel on tryout, hoping to win a place in Heaven through good deeds.
"Man really has an opportunity to be quite wonderful," Mr. Landon said.
What Mr. Landon viewed as wholesome and uplifting, critics sometimes perceived as sentimentality. His relations with the media often were uneasy.
Mr. Landon was born Eugene Maurice Orowitz in the New York borough of Queens on Oct. 31, 1936. His father was Eli Maurice Orowitz, a publicist, and his mother was Peggy O'Neill, a former Broadway musical comedy actress.
His father was Jewish, his mother Roman Catholic, and neither parent was said to be tolerant of the other's faith.
Mr. Landon once speculated that his passionate desire to create a world of warmth on screen may have stemmed from the turbulence of his childhood home.
Mr. Landon grew up in Collingswood, N.J., where in high school he was a poor student but a champion javelin thrower. After spending a year at the University of Southern California, he held a series of odd jobs until he found himself in acting school. He picked his stage name from the Los Angeles phone book: Michael Landon.
He seemed born to act. Small TV roles came his way, as well as the title role in the 1957 film "I Was a Teenage Werewolf." Then he read for the producer of a new western series and was quickly hired.
"Bonanza," in which he played Little Joe, one of the sons of patriarchal Ben Cartwright, premiered in 1959. Running for 14 years, "Bonanza" lived up to its name in all respects, becoming a television classic.
Before production ended, Mr. Landon was writing and directing occasional episodes. In April 1974, he directed and starred in the pilot for "Little House on the Prairie." This time, he played the family patriarch, Sam Wilder.
The series, which soared to the top of the ratings, ran on NBC through 1983 and, like "Bonanza," thrived in syndication. The next year, he began work on "Highway to Heaven," which ran until 1989.
"I do the kind of shows that I like to sit down and watch with my family," Mr. Landon said.
Survivors include his third wife, Cindy, and nine children.
Alex Pollack, 68, chapel rabbi at Adas Israel Congregation in Washington, died June 25 at Sibley Memorial Hospital of heart ailments and complications after a stroke.
Rabbi Pollack, who lived in Bethesda, was born in New York and attended the Teachers Institute of the Jewish Theological Seminary there.
During the 1950s, he was principal of Hebrew schools in Syracuse, N.Y., and Paterson, N.J. He was ordained a rabbi in the early 1960s by the Society for the Advancement of Judaism and served congregations in Stratford, Conn., and Lansdale, Pa., before joining the rabbinical staff of Adas Israel in 1981.
His first wife, of 28 years, the former Rose Rittner, died in 1975.
Survivors include his wife, Elaine Shirley Adler Pollack of Bethesda; three children by his first marriage, Nelson Pollack of Columbia, Stuart Pollack of Malden, Mass., and Janis Sterling of Silver Spring; and five grandchildren.
MARCIA C. DERRICOTTE
D.C. Schools Official
Marcia Cox Derricotte, 48, an executive assistant to the D.C. school superintendent since 1988, died June 27 at Washington Hospital Center after surgery for Crohn's disease, a gastrointestinal disorder.
Before joining the superintendent's office, she worked at MacFarland Junior High, where she was a teacher, counselor and assistant principal. She joined MacFarland and the D.C. schools in 1967.
Mrs. Derricotte, a Silver Spring resident who came to the Washington area in 1962, was a native of Cincinnati. She was a Phi Beta Kappa graduate of Clarke College in Iowa and received a master's degree in counseling from Trinity College.
Her husband, Sterling Derricotte, died in 1985. Survivors include her mother, Adelyn Cox of Silver Spring; and her father, Burnett Cox of Cincinnati.
LEON M. WADDY
Leon M. Waddy, 85, a retired Veterans Administration physician, died of cancer June 24 at Providence Hospital.
Dr. Waddy, who lived in Washington, was born in Pittsburgh. He graduated from the University of Pittsburgh and Howard University's medical school.
He had a private practice in Pittsburgh from 1935 until 1962, when he moved to Washington to work as a physician for the Veterans Administration's rating board. His duties involved evaluating veterans' disability claims.
He retired from the VA in 1974, but continued to work there part-time until 1979.
He was a member of the American Medical Association and the Medico-Chirurgical Society of Washington.
Survivors include his wife of 56 years, Mabel Jones Waddy of Washington; four children, A. LaVerne Yee of Clarkston, Mich., Carole A. Waddy of Silver Spring, Leon M. Waddy Jr. of Marianna, Ark., and Edward B. Waddy of Ellicott City; a brother, R. Kenneth Waddy of Pittsburgh; five sisters, Della Simmons, Ethel Hughes and Celestine Bryant, all of Pittsburgh, Louise Haley of Cleveland and Evelyn Perkins of Washington; and 14 grandchildren.
Merchant and Volunteer
Jennie Cohen, 83, a retired Washington merchant who had worked as a volunteer at the National Home for Asthmatics, died of cancer July 1 at the home of a daughter in Chevy Chase. She lived in Hallandale, Fla.
Mrs. Cohen, who had lived in Florida since 1971, was a native of Washington. From the late 1920s to the early 1960s, she and her husband, Harry, operated a grocery store near 23rd and H streets NW and a cleaning and tailoring establishment near 19th Street and Pennsylvania Avenue NW.
Her husband died in 1963. Survivors include two daughters, Marcia Neuhof of Pikesville and Iris Lerner of Chevy Chase; two sisters, Elizabeth Gossin of Bethesda and Sylvia Orgel of Silver Spring; seven grandchildren; and four great-grandchildren.
Woodward & Lothrop Sales Clerk
Anais Regina Haigouni Eghiazarian, 71, who worked for Woodward & Lothrop department stores from 1967 to 1989, died of cancer June 30 at her home in Arlington.
She did sales work on the designer floor at the downtown store.
Mrs. Eghiazarian, who was born in Turkey, grew up in Sudan, where she did social work and volunteer work with the British Red Cross during World War II. She came to the Washington area in 1947.
Survivors include her husband of 44 years, Hrant, of Arlington; two daughters, Paulette Betts of Los Angeles and Diana Cooper of Virginia Beach; a sister, Alice Lifonti of Milan, Italy; a brother, Dikran Haigouni of Washington; and two grandchildren.
C. RAE SCOTT SALAZAR
C. Rae Scott Salazar, 67, an interior designer who had owned and operated Petticoat Lane Interiors in Arlington since the late 1960s, died of lymphoma June 30 at Georgetown University Hospital.
Mrs. Salazar was a lifelong Arlington resident. She graduated from Washington-Lee High School and the University of Maryland and did graduate work at the New York School of Design. During the 1950s, she participated in design work for the restoration of Colonial Williamsburg.
She had done design work for the Washington Club, the Cosmos Club and for the film "The First Monday in October."
During World War II, she toured USO Clubs as the leader of a musical group called "Rae Scott and Her All Girl Orchestra."
In the early 1960s, she owned and managed the Arlington Institute of Music with her husband, Rafael M. Salazar. Their marriage ended in divorce.
Survivors include two children, Rafael Scott Salazar of Arlington and Rita Rae Salazar of Los Angeles; two sisters, Mary Howard of Honolulu and Kathryn Lyman of Selbyville, Del.; and a brother, John E. Scott of Rixeyville, Va.