‘Little House on the Prairie’: How Old Were the Actors When the Show First Aired?FIND OUT MORE HERE

 

Little House on the Prairie was a show viewed in just about every household during the late 1970s and early 1980s. The cast became instant stars. How old were the main cast members when the show first aired? Here’s what we know

Michael Landon


Michael Landon played Charles Ingalls. He was 38 years old when Little House on the Prairie first aired on March 30, 1974. Landon served not only as one of the stars of the show but also the executive producer. He was born in Forest Hills, New York, on October 31, 1936. Landon died from cancer on July 1, 1991. Melissa Gilbert played Laura Ingalls. She was 10 years old when Little House on the Prairie first aired. Gilbert was born in Los Angeles, California, on May 8, 1964. In her autobiography Prairie Tale, Gilbert wrote about the close relationship she formed with Landon. The actors formed a strong bond and became like father and daughter Karen Grassle Karen Grassle played Caroline Ingalls. She was 32 years old when Little House on the Prairie first aired. Grassle was born in Berkeley, California, on February 25, 1942. In her autobiography Bright Lights, Prairie Dust, Grassle shared behind-the-scenes secrets of Little House on the Prairie. One bit of information she revealed was the tension that grew between her and Landon over stalled contract negotiations.
Melissa Gilbert

Melissa Sue Anderson played Mary Ingalls. She was 12 years old when Little House on the Prairie first aired. Anderson was born in Berkeley, California, on September 26, 1962. Anderson was described by her co-stars as a mystery. Gilbert said in her autobiography that not much was known about the young star because she didn’t talk about her personal life. Sidney and Lindsay Greenbush Twins Sidney and Lindsay Greenbush played Carrie Ingalls. They were 4 years old when Little House on the Prairie aired. The sisters were born on May 25, 1970, in Los Angeles, California. Alison Arngrim

Alison Arngrim played Nellie Oleson. She was 12 years old when Little House on the Prairie first aired. She was born in New York on January 18, 1962. Arngrim says her role as Nellie would sometimes result in strange interactions with fans who couldn’t separate her from her character. According to Arngrim, a fan threw soda at her during an event. Although Arngrim was close to Gilbert’s age, she noted how much younger the actor looked. In her autobiography, she joked that her co-star was small enough to fit in her bag. Victor French Victor French played Mr. Edwards. He was 40 years old when Little House on the Prairie first aired. French was born in Santa Barbara, California, on December 4, 1934. He died from lung cancer on June 15, 1989. According to Grassle, Landon didn’t believe French died from lung cancer. He believed that his friend simply “drank himself to death.” Katherine MacGregor Katherine MacGregor played Nellie Oleson’s mother, Mrs. Oleson. She was 49 years old when Little House on the Prairie first aired. She was born on January 12, 1925, in Glendale, California. MacGregor died on November 13, 2018. Richard Bull Richard Bull played Mr. Oleson, Nellie Oleson’s father. He was 50 years old when Little House on the Prairie first aired. Bull was born on June 26, 1924, in Zion, Illinois. He died on February 3, 2014.

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