Discovered by a Warner Bros. executive and encouraged to enter acting school
Made film debut in "These Wilder Years"
First TV appearance, "Cavalcade of America" (ABC)
First significant acting role, "I Was a Teenage Werewolf"
Made starring role debut in a series as Little Joe Cartwright on "Bonanza" (NBC); also wrote and directed episodes
Directed, produced, scripted and starred in own TV series, "Highway to Heaven"
Diagnosed with pancreatic cancer (April)
Released a Bonanza-related single, "Gimme A Little Kiss/Be Patient With Me" on Columbia Records
Portrayed Charles Ingalls on the long-running NBC series, "Little House on the Prairie"; also executive produced, wrote and directed
Directed first TV-movie, "It's Good To Be Alive" (CBS)
Created the series, "Father Murphy" (NBC); also wrote and directed episodes
Executive produced but did not star in "Little House: A New Beginning" (NBC)
Reprised role of Charles Ingalls for three "Little House on the Prairie" (NBC) made-for-television movies; also executive produced
Wrote and directed first feature, "Sam's Son"; also co-starred in the film
Returned to series TV as Jonathan Smith, a probationary angel, in "Highway to Heaven" (NBC); also executive produced, wrote and directed
Wrote and directed the TV-movie, "Where Pigeons Go to Die" (NBC) starring Art Carney
Final film before his death, the CBS TV-movie, "Us"; also wrote, produced and directed