Shannen Doherty Says Michael Landon 'Spurred' Her Passion for Acting Despite 'Toxic' Gigs After “Little House on the Prairie”

"It is still the best experience of my career," the actress said of her time on the Western series from 1982 to 1983

<p>Tibrina Hobson/WireImage; MediaPunch/Shutterstock</p> Shannen Doherty (left); Michael Landon

Tibrina Hobson/WireImage; MediaPunch/Shutterstock

Shannen Doherty (left); Michael Landon

Shannen Doherty owes it all to Michael Landon and their time costarring on Little House on the Prairie.

On the May 27 episode of her podcast, Let's Be Clear with Shannen Doherty, the actress and her mom looked back on the early days of her career, from starting out in commercials to her work on the Western series, on which she starred as Jenny Wilder from 1982 to 1983.

"That show – Little House – shaped me in so many ways and it still is the best experience of my entire career," Doherty, 53, admitted as she reflected on the series and the particularly strong bond she formed with Landon, who played the family patriarch and died in 1991 from pancreatic cancer.

“I adored him. He was a mentor. He taught me so much," she said of Landon.

Related: Little House on the Prairie’s Melissa Gilbert Says Michael Landon Was a ‘Father Figure’: ‘We Were Very Close’ (Exclusive)

<p>Frank Carroll/NBCU Photo Bank via Getty</p> The cast of 'Little House: A New Beginning': Lindsay Kennedy as Jeb Carter, Shannen Doherty as Jenny Wilder, David Friedman as Jason Carter (2nd row l-r) Pamela Roylance as Sarah Carter, Melissa Gilbert as Laura Ingalls Wilder, Leslie Landon as Etta Plum, Allison Balson as Nancy Oleson (3rd row l-r) Dabbs Greer as Reverend Robert Alden, Kevin Hagen as Dr. Hiram Baker, Matthew Laborteaux as Albert Quinn Ingalls, Stan Ivar as John Carter, Richard Bull as Nelson 'Nels' Olsen (back row l-r) Victor French as Isaiah Edwards, Michael Landon as Charles Philip Ingalls, Dean Butler as Almanzo James Wilder

His impact on her transcended the bounds of the show — and the late actor's life — as Doherty said that even today, she feels his influence on her life.

“It's kind of amazing because, when I think about the long span of my career, but also how rough some jobs were — and unenjoyable to be a part of, a little bit toxic — it was really the experience on Little House that spurred that passion on for being an actor," she told her mom. "And it was having a mentor like Michael Landon — and I don't care what anybody else's experience was like, I know the truth about that man, and he was just unbelievable."

She described Landon as "so, so, so talented, so kind, so considerate, and it really helped shape me. And he was incredibly caring for my entire family.”

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

Michael Landon on 'Little House on the Prairie'
Michael Landon on 'Little House on the Prairie'

Doherty has previously said that among her "favorite memories" from her time on Little House on the Prairie, which aired from 1974 to 1983, was getting to "work with Michael Landon."

"Just the things I learned from him. He directed some of the episodes and wrote some of the episodes," she said on a March episode of her podcast.

Related: Little House on the Prairie’s Melissa Gilbert Says Michael Landon ‘Sacrificed’ His Pay to Buy Cast Presents (Exclusive)

"I just remember how he was as a director," Doherty continued, adding that Landon helped her "realize what kind of director I wanted to be."

She also credited the late actor for teaching her to "be true to myself" and "embrace my voice, to stand up for myself."

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Following her time on the Western series, Doherty's next major role was as Kris Witherspoon on Our House from 1986 to 1988. In 1990, she was cast in her career-making role as Brenda Walsh on Beverly Hills, 90210.

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