Why ‘Little House on the Prairie’ Star Melissa Sue Anderson Once Turned Down a Major Film Role

by Samantha Whidden
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Although Brooke Shields is widely known for her role in the 1980 film “The Blue Lagoon,” the actress that was originally going to play Shields’ role was “Little House on the Prairie” star Melissa Sue Anderson. However, the classic TV show actress revealed she ended up turning down the role due to personal reasons.

In her memoir, “The Way I See It: A Look Back at My Life on Little House,” Melissa Sue Anderson explained the reason behind her declining the offer to appear in the film. “The nudity made me uncomfortable. Not to mention the fact that my NBC contract included a morals clause.”

According to IMDb, “The Blue Lagoon” takes place during the Victorian period. Two children are shipwrecked on a tropical island in the South Pacific. There are no adults to guide them. So they make a simple life together. Christopher Atkins starred in the film alongside Shields. 

“The Blue Lagoon” was a success at the North American box office with $58.8 million. However, critics weren’t necessarily fans of the film. It currently has an 8% rating on Rotten Tomatoes.

Melissa Sue Anderson Experimented With Her Hair During ‘Little House on the Prairie’

Meanwhile, after filming her horror/mystery film, “Happy Birthday to Me,” Melissa Sue Anderson revealed before returning to “Little House on the Prairie,” she actually experimented with her hairstyle. She cut off several inches of her hair.

“[Stylist Larry Germain] measured me for a long wig (for those bed scenes) and also for a piece that would be my ‘knot’ or bun on the back of my head,” Melissa Sue Anderson recalled in her memoir. “Whew! What a relief to be done with that.”

Melissa Sue Anderson then spoke about the “punishment” she had for her rebellious move. “I should have known I’d gotten off too lightly. My punishment was that I looked like I had a mushroom on my head after they styled my short pieces; pinning and pinning; and tucking them in. The days of going out right after work were over. I could feel а few pаngs of regret creeping my wаy.”

Melissa Sue Anderson further spoke about juggling her movie gig with her “Little House on the Prairie” schedule. “This time, the scheduling conflict with ‘Little House’ wаsn’t аs difficult to resolve becаuse I wаsn’t in аs mаny episodes thаt seаson. I wаs аlso fortunаte in thаt the mаjority of shows were аlreаdy scheduled to аir аfter I finished shooting the film.”

Melissa Sue Anderson did mention that her “Little House on the Prairie” co-star Michael Landon was “in and out of favor” with her. Anderson appeared in the series as a regular cast member for seasons 1 through 7. She was a guest in season 8. She did not appear in any of the post-series movies. 

Outsider.com