‘Little House on the Prairie’: Melissa Sue Anderson Criticized Writers for Stories After Mary Went Blind

by Keeli Parkey
(Photo by NBCU Photo Bank/NBCUniversal via Getty Images via Getty Images)

One of the most famous storylines on “Little House on the Prairie” involved the character Mary Ingalls. This character was played by actress Melissa Sue Anderson.

Of course, the storyline we are talking about was when Mary went blind on the popular show. According to AJC.com, Anderson portrayed Mary’s blindness beginning in season four. She did such a good job that season that she received an Emmy nomination. Interestingly Michael Landon, who was the star of the show, never received such a nomination.

As popular as the storyline was for “Little House on the Prairie” and Anderson, the actress wasn’t very happy with what followed for her character. According to the AJC.com article, Melissa Sue Anderson wrote about it in her memoir, “The Way I See It.”

Anderson Said Her Character on ‘Little House on the Prairie” Became ‘Boring’

In the book, Anderson said that after Mary Ingalls went blind the writers on “Little House on the Prairie” failed to give her interesting storylines. She felt playing Mary after she went blind became “boring” and “soap opera-ish.” Part of the reason for this was when the show was supposed to take place, which was during the 1870s.

“It wasn’t just the blind issue but also the period of the show. It was very limiting what you could or couldn’t do. I used to say I was blind and boring,” Anderson reportedly said. “Either I was just there not doing much or going through some tragedy. I couldn’t take it anymore. It became too soap opera-ish.”

One particular episode that Anderson particularly disliked was when Mary goes catatonic after losing a baby due to a fire, according to AJC.com. In fact, the actress’s appearances in the show began to drop off during season eight. She then left the show.

In her book about her time on “Little House on the Prairie,” Anderson also talked about what it was like to work with Michael Landon. According to AJC.com, she portrays the beloved actor as having an “iron fist” while working on the show. She also talked about his “mean streak.”

Fortunately, Anderson and Landon did develop a positive relationship before his death in 1991.

Melissa Sue Anderson is not the only actress from “Little House on the Prairie” who wrote a memoir.

Melissa Gilbert, who played Laura Ingalls on the show, also wrote a memoir. Gilbert’s book was titled, “Prairie Tale.” In her book, the actress talks about being on the show and what it was like to work with Michael Landon. She also talks about her romantic relationships, substance abuse, and plastic surgeries.

Another actress who penned a book about her time on the show was Alison Arngrim. She played Nellie Oleson on “Little House on the Prairie.” Arngrim gave her book a pretty interesting title. It was, “Confessions of a Prairie B****.”