Little House on the Prairie: This Star Passed Away Days Before His Last Episode Aired

For nine seasons, Little House on the Prairie delighted viewers and brought them comfort. Some of the show's stars have passed away throughout the years. A cast member of Little House on the Prairie passed away just a few days before his last episode aired. 

This actor passed away a few days before his last episode 

One member of the recurring cast was unable to watch his final episode when it was shown. Eight days before his final episode of Little House on the Prairie, Karl Swenson, who played Lars Hanson, passed away. 

On October 8, 1978, Swenson passed away following a heart attack. He was in his 70s. His portrayal of Lars Hansen, the founding father of Walnut Grove, passes away in his final Little House episode, "There's No Place Like Home Part II." 

Lars, played by Swenson, is terminally ill in the final episode. Lars' death in this episode wasn't something Michael Landon and the writing staff had in mind, claims commentator Dave Sundstrom. Sundstrom claims that Swenson informed Landon that he was prepared to retire, nevertheless. As a result, the episode was changed to reflect his character's passing. 

Karl Swenson, according to Karen Grassle, was her "favorite." 

The actress who played Caroline Ingalls, Karen Grassle, wrote about meeting all of the Little House on the Prairie cast members in her autobiography Bright Lights, Prairie Dust. She expresses satisfaction with the portrayal of Lars Hanson by Swenson (the founder of Walnut Grove). Swenson's persona is one of the town's father figures, according to Grassle. 

According to Grassle in her book, "Mr. Hanson, the mill owner and Pa's first employment, symbolized the civil power." Swenson's character was one of the earliest ones in the series in the novel By the Banks of Plum Creek, according to Grassle.

Swenson appeared exactly like the character should, in Grassle's opinion. She claims that he accurately portrayed Lars Hanson. His "tidy gray mustache and twinkly eyes," according to Grassle, were the ideal choice for the part. 

The creator of the town, Swenson, had a commanding presence. Swenson, according to Grassle, also had an authoritative demeanor. She said he was the most experienced and intelligent of the actors, therefore this role came easy to him. Swenson, according to Grassle, was her favorite supporting actor. 

Karen Grassle anticipated Swenson's appearances on set. 

Grassle also mentions how much she cherished Swenson's company in her writing. Swenson liked to learn new things, and Grassle says he had a variety of interests. She says she was "buoyed by his days on the set." 

Swenson, according to Grassle, was always available for "interesting conversation," with politics being one of her favorite subjects to discuss. They like the crude jokes since they frequently agreed. They were "two liberals in a sea of conservatism," she claims. 

TV episodes and movies starring Karl Swenson 

On a radio program called The Mercury Theatre on the Air, Swenson played one of his earliest acting parts. In the 1957 picture Four Boys and a Gun, he made his acting debut. The following television shows that Swenson has appeared in with other acting roles: Bachelor Father, Have Gun—Will Travel, Perry Mason, Bonanza, Gunsmoke, and Lassie.


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