‘Little House on the Prairie’ Actor Karen Grassle Explained How She ‘Lost Touch’ with Costars

by Joe Rutland

“Little House on the Prairie” star Karen Grassle took some time off after the NBC series ended. Yet she “lost touch” with her costars.

“I lived out of state [California] for 10 years and I had kind of lost touch with people,” Grassle said during a 2004 interview on “Dave’s Gone By” with host Dave Lefkowitz. “Occasionally, I would luck out. Someone like Dabbs Grier [Reverend Robert Alden] would come through the town where I was living and shoot a movie or something.”

Grassle, who played Caroline Ingalls on “Little House on the Prairie,” said she was able to introduce Grier to her at-the-time little daughter.

‘Little House on the Prairie’ Star Would Find Ways To Reconnect With Others

“Kevin Hagan, who played Doc Baker, and I would talk on the phone,” she said.

“Occasionally, there would be a party or something and I was able to reconnect with Katherine McGregor, who played Mrs. Oleson,” Grassle said. “Or Melissa [Gilbert], you know.”

At this time in 2004, Gilbert was president of the Screen Actors Guild. Gilbert played Laura Ingalls on the NBC family drama.

“I think it’s marvelous of her to do this,” she said. “Something that she didn’t have to do.”

Grassle Focused On Raising A Family After TV Show’s Run Ended

Once her time on “Little House on the Prairie” ended, Grassle turned her attention toward raising a family of her own. Grassle also found the grind to do an hour-long drama season after season wore her down.

Having the show last nine seasons was something she didn’t see happening, but it did.

“I love having this freedom right now to do different things,” Grassle told Lefkowitz. “For me, the thrill of acting is transforming yourself into a different person.”

After moving around a little bit, the actress currently is living in the San Francisco area.

‘Little House’ Actor Played Opposite Michael Landon on Drama

Grassle played opposite Michael Landon, who was Charles Ingalls on the show. Landon, who died in 1991 of pancreatic cancer, actually oversaw many aspects including writing, directing, and producing episodes. Anyone who is familiar with Landon’s career knows he spent decades acting in TV series.

Before “Little House on the Prairie,” he co-starred with Lorne Greene on “Bonanza.” After “Little House” ended, he also starred in “Highway to Heaven” where he handled similar duties as on his previous show.

Back to Grassle. Today, the “Little House” star is gearing up for the November 2021 release of her autobiography. It’s called “Bright Lights, Prairie Dust: Reflections on Life, Loss, and Love from Little House’s Ma.”