Life of Victor French from 'Little House on the Prairie' after the Show Ended
Although Victor French gained “bad guy” status through most of his acting roles, that all changed after he played Isaiah Edwards on “Little House on the Prairie.”
Victor French's career
After an acting debut with a small role on “Lassie” in 1954, Victor landed roles where he usually played a gruff looking “bad guy.”
But Michael Landon, Victor’s co-star on “Bonanza” wherein he starred from 1962 until 1971, brought Victor into “Little House on the Prairie” as his good friend and neighbor on the show in 1974.
During an interview in 1985, Victor said that Michael rescued him from “20 years of playing killers, rapists, and every kind of villain and pervert known to man.” Victor even joked that “crowds parted” when they saw him coming due to the grim roles he portrayed.
During the 1980s, Victor worked alongside Michael Landon again when he starred as the probationary angel in “Highway to Heaven.”
His projects after "Little House on the Prairie"
After “Little House on the Prairie,” Victor became Chief Roy Mobey, the star of “Carter Country” which aired from 1977 until 1979.
He starred in numerous films including “An Officer and a Gentleman,” “Choices,” “The House on Skull Mountain,” and more. Victor also tried his hand at directing and received 11 acting credits during his career which included episodes of “Gunsmoke,” “Little House on the Prairie,” and “Highway to Heaven.”
In March 1989, Victor got diagnosed with lung cancer and died a few months later on June 15, at the age of fifty-four in Los Angeles, California. The same city where he first studied theater and his acting career began.
Even though Victor had not been married at the time, he had tied the knot twice before. Victor first married Judith Schenz about a month after his 24th birthday on January 9, 1959.
The following year they welcomed their firstborn and son, Victor A. Jr. to the world, while Judith gave birth to their twin daughters, Tracy, and Kelly in 1962. Judith and Victor’s marriage lasted another 13 years until their divorce on July 3, 1975.
Victor married his second wife, Julie Cobb, less than a year later on March 14, 1976, but with short-lived marital bliss, they divorced two years later on May 23, 1978. After that, Victor never remarried.
I just legit got an acceptance for a poem that mentions both Michael Landon & Victor French by name, & includes the opener from Highway to Heaven. I feel like I should win some kind of latchkey-70's-kid poet-award for this? #popculturepoems #poetry pic.twitter.com/Saq2AIma2W— erika meitner (@rikam99) May 10, 2019
In 1998, Victor got inducted into the Great Western Performers Hall of Fame for projecting “…the traditional Western ideals of honesty, integrity and self-sufficiency in career endeavors over a lifetime in film, television, radio or theatrical stage.”
In a related story, Michael Landon’s daughter once appeared with her father and Victor on an episode of “Highway to Heaven.”
In 2019, Jennifer Landon shared how she got a bit role in the series and recalled the experience of learning from her father.