'Little House on the Prairie's' Merlin Olsen dies at 69 of mesothelioma

merlin-olsen.jpgNFL 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."