merlin olsen 'Little House on the Prairie's' Merlin Olsen dies at 69 of mesotheliomaNFL Hall of Famer and actor of “Little House on the Prairie” fame, Merlin Olsen, has died at his Utah home of cancer. He was 69.

Olsen had undergone several rounds of chemotherapy after being diagnosed with mesothelioma in 2009.

When Olsen’s former “Little House” co-star, Melissa Gilbert (@MelissaEGilbert) heard of his death, she tweeted:

“Just heard about the passing of Merlin Olsen. I an so sad. My heart
go out to his dear family. He was one of the sweetest, kindest, men I
have ever known. The personification of the Gentle Giant. Forever now,
a guardian angel.”

]]>Dick Enberg as a sportscaster for college and NFL games. The football star transitioned to Hollywood in 1977 when he joined the cast of “Little House on the Prairie.” After four years as Michael Landon’s sidekick on the show, Olsen took the lead role in the Landon-created “Father Murphy.” Last year, Olsen sued various paint and manufacturing companies as well as NBC and 20th Century Fox, claiming they exposed him to asbestos, which is known to be the primary source of mesothelioma. The law suit was pending at the time of his death. Follow Zap2it’s Dish Rag on Twitter and Facebook and follow Zap2itChristine on Twitter for the latest celebrity news and buzz. More celebrity deaths: Corey Haim’s mom says her son died of pulmonary congestion
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