Michael Landon: little house on the cove in Queens 1

The childhood home of actor Michael Landon (aka Eugene Orowitz) at 160-15 Powells Cove Blvd. in Whitestone, as it looked c. 1940s.

Eli Orowitz married Kathleen Margaret O’Neill, an actress and comedian, in Queens in June 1932. Their first child, a daughter, Evelyn, was born on Nov. 12, 1933, followed by their son, Eugene Maurice, on Oct. 31, 1936. According to R.L. Polk’s consumer marketing directory they lived in a English Tudor building at 160-15 Powells Cove Blvd., in apartment 2E.

During the 1930s, a nest of people from the entertainment industry lived in the Whitestone-Bayside area. In 1941 Eli moved the family to Collingswood, NJ, to work for the Victoria Amusement Co., which had a chain of 30 movie theaters in South New Jersey that he helped manage. The original rising star was Evelyn, who was selected Miss New Jersey 1954.

The family then moved to Hollywood as Evelyn changed her name to Victoria King to get into movies. Eugene was working in a service station opposite Warner Bros. Studios when he was approached by actor Robert Raison, who recently had turned agent. He groomed Eugene, changing his name to Michael Landon. His career took off while sister Evelyn’s fizzled. His television hits included “Bonanza” and “Little House on the Prairie.” Sadly, his career was cut short. He died of cancer at age 54 in 1991. Evelyn passed at age 69 in 2003.

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