‘Little House on the Prairie’ Star Karen Grassle Explains How Friend Helped Save Her Life

by Michael Freeman
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(Photo by Silver Screen Collection/Getty Images)

Little House on the Prairie star Karen Grassle recently wrote a memoir discussing her time on the show, as well as her intense battle with alcoholism. With her life spiraling out of control, she disclosed a close friend of hers helped save her life.

Karen Grassle spoke to Fox News about the memoir in great detail, giving a behind-the-scenes look for the show and her own life. After the news outlet noted how open she was about her battle with alcoholism, she said it was much worse than she thought. It wasn’t until a close friend of hers confronted her she realized the trouble she was in.

“My friend Toni, who I’ve known since we were 7 years old, confronted me and told me I needed help,” Grassle disclosed. “There was no way for me to wriggle out of it. She knew me… I couldn’t fight the truth of what she was saying. After our conversation, it just took one more bad night where I fought with a friend – a very dear friend of mine.”

That night proved to be exactly what Karen Grassle needed. Though she was a wreck emotionally, it helped in the long run. “I went home sobbing full of self-pity. I felt everything in my life was wrong and everyone was turning against me. The next morning, I woke up and said, ‘I must never take another drink, no matter what happens.’ I did think that my life would fall apart. I thought I might lose my job. I definitely might lose my boyfriend… But it was such a blessing.”

Grassle says she has been sober since June 1977 and her life only got better since then. The Ingalls family would be proud.

Karen Grassle Said She Wasn’t a Fan of Caroline Ingalls at First

Karen Grassle masterfully portrayed Caroline Ingalls in Little House on the Prairie and was a beloved staple of the show. Though Grassle played her well, it turns out she wasn’t a fan of the character initially.

In the same Fox News interview, Grassle mentioned being thankful she scored the role. Nonetheless, when she read the script, she wasn’t sold on the character, thinking she was boring. “When I first read the script, I thought, ‘Oh, she’s kind of a downer. She’s prudish.’ I hadn’t read the books, so I had a lot of catching up to do,” Grassle disclosed.

However, as the show progressed, she realized what a great, brave woman Caroline was and grew to love her as we did. “But as I started doing the role and interacting with the children, I gained a new perspective for my character. She’s a woman who’s so brave and loyal heading into the wilderness with her little girls. She wanted to create a better life for them. I began to experience the nobility of the character and what she truly represented.”

Outsider.com