The Little House On The Prairie cast became like family for viewers who were welcomed into their life on a farm in Plum Creek near Walnut Grove, Minnesota. When the series came to an end on 10th May 1982 fans immediately searched for shows to fill the void, but nothing could compare. Let’s catch up with the cast of Little House On The Prairie and find out what they are up to nowadays.
Adapted from Laura Ingalls Wilder’s best-selling series ‘Little House,’ the show first aired on 30th March 1974, with a two-hour pilot. It was a thrilling success and ran from 1974 to 1983, building a legacy during its nine-year run.
Little House On The Prairie may have shown its last episode over 35 years ago, but true fans haven’t forgotten about the beloved characters. So, let’s take a look at where the cast is now.
- CULTURE: Who was Gary Francis Poste? Age and death of Zodiac Killer suspect
Melissa Gilbert as Laura Ingalls Wilder
Gilbert played the iconic lead of Laura Ingalls Wilder and following the cancellation of the show she continued to act. Gilbert even picked up her dancing shoes for Dancing With The Stars where she was a celebrity contestant for season 14. She also played the role of Ma Ingalls in a touring musical production of Little House On The Prairie.
What can’t she do? Gilbert has even pursued politics since leaving the Prairie and ran as a Democratic candidate for Michigan’s 8th congressional district in 2016. However, she had to drop out of the campaign due to a back injury.
Melissa recently welcomed her new granddaughter Ripley and has launched her own book called Back To The Prairie. She has also decided to expand the Prairie universe further with her lifestyle brand, Modern Prairie.
- CELEBRITY: Who was Lawrence Kane, Zodiac suspect, and why the renewed interest in him?
Michael Landon as Charles Ingalls
Who could forget the Ingalls family patriarch, Charles, portrayed by Michael Landon? Landon directed over 80 episodes out of the 204 in the show. After leaving in the final season, he played the main character in NBC’s successful drama Highway To Heaven. Sadly, he was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer in 1991, and just three months later, died at 54 years old.
Karen Grassle as Caroline Ingalls
Karen Grassle was a newcomer when she joined the show, making her role of Caroline her first acting credit. The actor then relocated to New Mexico and became artistic director of Santa Fe’s Resource Theatre Company. She has also appeared in small TV roles on shows like Murder, She Wrote and in theatres, earning the lead role in Driving Miss Daisy. She now lives in Louisville, Kentucky, working for the Actors Theatre of Louisville.
Alison Arngrim as Nellie Oleson
It is no secret that Nellie Oleson wasn’t supposed to be liked, but many fans had a soft spot for the villain. Mainly because her portrayer, Alison Arngrum was so likeable. Arngrim is now a comedian and since the pandemic has been doing gigs on an online streaming platform called Stageit.
Arngrim has released a comedy album called Heeere’s Amy. Just like Gilbert and Anderson, she wrote an autobiography about her time on Little House On The Prairie titled; Confessions of a Prairie B***: How I Survived Nellie Oleson and Learned to Love Being Hated.
Melissa Sue Anderson as Mary Ingalls
Everyone loved the eldest daughter of the Ingalls and after leaving the show, Melissa Sue Anderson’s fanbase certainly followed her every move. After the seventh season, Anderson went on to act in The Equalizer, Alfred Hitchcock Presents, and Murder, She Wrote. She now resides in Montreal, Canada, with her husband, Michael Sloan, and children, Piper and Griffin.
Jason Bateman as James Ingalls
You’ll likely know what the adopted son of the Ingalls is up to nowadays. Jason Butler has had a wealth of credits added to his resume after leaving the show. Best known for his role as Michael Bluth on Arrested Development, or his roles in Ozark and Horrible Bosses.
Richard Bull as Nels Oleson
Nels Oleson was the father of Nellie and the husband of Harriet Oleson. Following Bull’s stint on the show, he continued to act in a number of productions such as ER and Highway to Heaven. Sadly, he died on 3 February 2014 of pneumonia.
Who was your favourite character from Little House On The Prairie?