‘Little House on the Prairie’: Albert Actor Matthew Labyorteaux Opens Up on What it Was Like Playing Michael Landon’s Adopted Son

by Keeli Parkey

During a recent virtual gathering of some of the cast members of “Little House on the Prairie,” actor Matthew Labyorteaux talked about his experiences playing Albert Quinn Ingalls. He even talked about what it was like to play the adopted son of Michael Landon.

The virtual gathering took place on the show “Stars In the House.”

It is hosted by Seth Rudestky and James Wesley. They facilitated the discussion between the “Little House on the Prairie” cast members. The interview streamed live on March 18, 2021, and is still available.

After Matthew Labyorteaux gave a brief rundown of his time on the show, Wesley brought up the topic of adoption and its portrayal on the show.

“As a kid, I felt like it was the first time I had ever seen adoption talked about on a TV show, on a network TV show. …” Wesley said.

Wesley then shared a clip from the show where Albert asks Charles Ingalls if he can call Charles “Pa.” The clip prompts smiles from the cast. “So good,” Wesley said.

What makes adoption show significant to the cast is that several of the cast members were adopted in real life.

Melissa (Gilbert), obviously, was adopted. I was adopted. My brother, Patrick (Labyorteaux), who played Andy Garvey on the show was adopted. …,” Matthew Labyorteaux said.

Being an adopted child who got the play a character who was adopted was not something he thought about at the time he was on the show, Labyorteaux also said. However, his point of view on that would change later in life.

“I don’t think at that point it really meant that deeper sort of thing,” he said. “Now it does. I was just a kid actor that knew that I had a great time working on the show. …”

Albert Wasn’t the Only Role Matthew Labyorteaux Played on ‘Little House on the Prairie’

According to the March interview on “Stars In the House,” Labyorteaux played another part on “Little House on the Prairie.”

He said he also played the younger version of Charles Ingalls. The older version of Charles, of course, was the character played by Michael Landon.

“I played Charles Ingalls as a little boy. I played Michael Landon as a little boy in a really sweet episode called ‘Journey in the Spring,” Labyorteaux said.

Getting cast to play Albert came after the actor played the young Charles Ingalls on the show. According to IMDb.com, the “Journey in the Spring” episode of the show aired during 1976. Labyorteaux reprised the role during 1978 in a “Little House on the Prairie” episode titled “I Remember, I Remember.”

The young actor began playing Albert Quinn Ingalls in 1978. He remained on the show until 1983.

You can watch the cast members of “Little House on the Prairie” have their virtual reunion below.