Michael Landon's Daughter Says He Didn't Make His Health 'a Priority' Before Death: 'He Put It Aside'

"I think if my dad was alive today, he would say, ‘Boy, I blew it,' " Leslie Landon Matthews said of the late actor

<p>Ron Galella Collection via Getty </p> Michael Landon

Ron Galella Collection via Getty

Michael Landon

Michael Landon’s health was far from his No. 1 priority, according to his daughter.

The actor, who died from pancreatic cancer at age 54, was a stubborn person, Leslie Landon Matthews told Fox News in a new interview. And that stubbornness, she said, affected how he viewed — and treated — his health.

Leslie, who starred on Little House on the Prairie with her late father, told the outlet, "The one thing that I know was part of my dad’s personality was his stubbornness. And I don’t think staying on top of his health was a priority."

“I think he put it aside," she added.

Related: Michael Landon's 9 Children: All About His Sons and Daughters

Following the discovery of Landon's cancer in 1991, which had spread to his liver, the actor retreated with his third wife Cindy to his Malibu ranch, where he switched to a vegetarian diet and began a program of vitamins, enzymes and acupuncture.

<p>Michael Ochs Archives/Getty</p> Leslie Landon Matthews with dad Michael Landon in 1976

Michael Ochs Archives/Getty

Leslie Landon Matthews with dad Michael Landon in 1976

He also underwent chemotherapy and submitted to an experimental procedure involving a cancer-fighting drug.

The actor later died in July 1991 — just three months after announcing his diagnosis, and 10 months after walking Leslie down the aisle.

Related: Michael Landon's Daughter Urges People to Take Care of Their Health on 30th Anniversary of His Death

Prior to his cancer diagnosis, however, Michael's family had to fight tooth and nail to get him into a doctor’s office, Leslie told Fox News.

"I know that my mom often talked about getting him to his physicals," she said, adding that when he did get an exam, it “was always a feat."

“And so, by the time my dad was having uncontrollable pain in his stomach, he was on vacation with my stepmom and younger sibling. ... He flew home early from Utah to go to his doctor’s appointment,” she continued. “He couldn’t ignore it anymore.”

Related: Shannen Doherty Shares Lessons Learned from Michael Landon on Little House on the Prairie — Including Liar's Poker Skills

When he couldn’t put his ailing health on the back burner anymore, Michael made sure he “held onto the hope,” Leslie said.

"I think deep down he might’ve known that he wasn’t going to survive that particular cancer," she continued, adding, "He really, really, really tried to beat this cancer, especially because he still had little ones to raise."

<p>Ron Galella Collection via Getty </p> Michael Landon in 1990

Ron Galella Collection via Getty

Michael Landon in 1990

Leslie also said her late dad would tell people going through similar health struggles “to respect the person going through this battle,” “to hold onto the hope” and “soak in your family as much as possible.”

“Having a really good attitude, I think, is so important,” she added, “which my dad continued to have even up until the end.”

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Leslie also speculated about how father would feel about his reluctance to prioritize his health if he were still here.

"I think if my dad was alive today, he would say, ‘Boy, I blew it. I really should have been staying on top of my health every year and making sure I was getting full checkups,’" the former actress told the outlet.

But she also understands why he didn’t. "If you’re a caretaker, you’re taking care of your kids and your household, you [do] get busy and distracted,” she said. “And of course, your main priority is your family. So, it’s very easy to put your health on the back burner.”

“You need to schedule [your checkups] just like you would for anything else in your life and make it a priority,” Leslie added.

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