PHOTO: ‘Little House on the Prairie’ Stars Melissa Gilbert, Alison Arngrim and Karen Grassle Reunite

by Taylor Cunningham

Former Little House on the Prairie castmates and forever friends Melissa Gilbert, Alison Arngrim, and Karen Grassle recently reunited for a fan-favorite expo in Eastern Tennessee.

The three actresses came together for the Fanboy Expo in Knoxville this past weekend. The expo is considered Tennesse’s biggest pop-culture event.

More than 30,000 people visit each year to see their favorite celebrities from standup-comedy, cosplay, TV series, movies, and more. This year, guests included Back to the Future’s Christopher Lloyd, M*A*S*H’s Loretta Swit, and, of course, three of the stars from Little House on the Prairie.

The expo wrapped up on August 7th. And today, Grassle took to Instagram to post a few of her favorite highlights.

“I am still so thrilled at how much fun I had with @melissagilbertofficial and @alisonarngrim at Fanboy Expo last weekend!” she wrote. “Here are some pics I took… the three of us together, a special little house that a wonderful fan brought, a shot of the expo floor, and the wonderful Christopher Lloyd!”

Melissa Gilbert and Alison Angrim Still Close Nearly 50 Years After the Debut of ‘Little House on the Prairie’

Karen Grassle, Melissa Gilbert, and Alison Arngrim met in 1974, just before Little House on the Prairie debuted. The three forged a strong friendship, and they’ve remained close over the decades. And the latter two famously share a particularly close bond.

Gilbert and Arngrim played enemies Laura and Nellie on-screen. But off-screen, they were, and still are, best friends. As Gilbert once told Fox News, they instantly hit it off during filming. And they spent most weekends “having slumber” and hanging out at each other’s houses.

Many fans had trouble separating their classic TV personas from reality, though. And when they were girls, they’d even have people approach them in public because they were so confused.

“The two of us would go places together,” Gilbert told Entertainment Weekly in 2014. “And people would try to protect me from her. Even when I was ten, I’d want to say, ‘Come on, it’s a TV show.’”

Nonetheless, the girls stayed tight despite the years and the naysaying fans. And Melissa Gilbert highlighted their unique bond this year when it was time to wish her former castmate a happy 60th birthday.

“Whether we were floating down a river, wrestling in the mud, doing prom-wear layouts for Tiger Beat magazine, going to each other’s book signing or taking each other for our colonoscopies. Alison, for nearly fifty years you’ve been the yin to my yang, the Podo to my Cabengo, the Nellie to my Laura. Happy, happy birthday and huzzah to you, sweet friend of mine!! I love you to the moon and back!”