Victor French was born in Santa Barbara, California, on December 4, 1934 - the son of a Hollywood stuntman. Victor's father instilled in his son a love for western legend and lore. Following in Dad's footsteps, French's first job was as a stuntman on the popular Gunsmoke television series. To further develop his talent, the young man attended Los Angeles Valley College and Cal State Los Angeles, where he took courses in theatre arts. Victor's hard work paid off as he gleaned roles on scores of television programs,such as 14 appearances on Gunsmoke( different characters each time!),Bonanza, and even The Beverly Hillbillies. It was on the set of Bonanza that he met his good friend Michael "Little Joe Cartwright" Landon. Their friendship was to prove a strong and lasting one that endured through two top-rated television series. While the burly, gruff-looking French almost always played the villain in his performances, it was Landon who turned him into the more loveable Isaiah Edwards in Little House on the Prairie. French maintained his role on Prairie from 1974 to 1977, at which time he departed and starred as Chief Roy Mobey in the sitcom Carter Country. French returned to the Little House from 1981 until 1984.... completing the series and its subsequent TV movies.
In 1984, Michael Landon cast French in his latest television series: Highway to Heaven. French portrayed ex-cop Michael Gordon, whose bitterness at the world was softened by the presence of a guardian angel (Landon). Not limited by now to "simply acting", French, already an experienced director, directed every third episode of the series.
In private life, Victor French had married Julie Cobb in the 1970s. They were the parents of Tracy, Kelly and Victor Jr. French was an avid boxer and was a part owner of a boxing club in North Hollywood. Tragically, he succombed to lung cancer in 1989, shortly after completing work on the final season of Highway to Heaven. He was 54.