‘Little House on the Prairie’: Several Stars Went on to Make Guest Appearances in This Sitcom Together

by Joe Rutland

Who knew there would be some swimmingly-cool connection between “Little House on the Prairie” and one of TV’s popular sitcoms?

Well, several stars from the NBC family drama decided to show off their dramatic and comedic talents on ABC’s “The Love Boat.”

Melissa Gilbert, who played Laura Ingalls, talked about her time onboard the cruise ship that took to the high seas every Saturday night.

“I don’t think I was the only one to do a ‘Love Boat,'” Gilbert said as part of a “Little House on the Prairie” reunion on “Stars in the House.” “I got to go on the actual cruise and I stayed in a hotel in Mazatlan and I got mites from staying in the hotel.”

‘Little House on the Prairie’ Star Plays Tomboy on ‘Love Boat’

Gilbert said she played a tomboy named “Rocky” on an episode. She attempted to seduce Scott Baio’s cousin Jimmy on the “Love Boat” episode.

Dean Butler, who played Laura’s husband Almanzo Walter on “Little House on the Prairie,” said he had three honeymoon episodes to his credit.

“One with Mary McDonough from ‘The Waltons,’ one with Mary Cadorette from ‘Three’s A Crowd,’ and then Crystal Bernard from ‘Wings,'” Butler said.

Karen Grassle, who played Caroline Ingalls, also found herself in a one-piece bathing suit on the boat.

Karen Grassle Loved Wearing Regular Makeup on Episode

“I was so thrilled to get in modern clothes,” Grassle said, “and to have makeup, you know, makeup-makeup. (But) I had wonderful makeup on ‘Little House,’ you know, but makeup.

“I got to show some of my natural figure and some of my not-so-natural figure,” she said, “because they really wanted to help me out with that swimming suit.”

Allison Arngrim, who played Nellie, also recalled her “Love Boat” experience. She appeared in an episode with Nancy Kulp, who played her aunt yet Kulp is best remembered as Jane Hathaway from “The Beverly Hillbillies.”

Matthew Labyorteaux, who played adopted son Albert Ingalls, also spoke up about his “Love Boat” episode.

“I totally made out with Vicki Stubing, Jill Whalen, great girl,” he said.

So, it’s safe to say that the “Little House on the Prairie” cast was pretty happy to do something that didn’t involve being so dressed up.