While the classic television show “Little House on the Prairie” often showed an idyllic portrayal of frontier life, things weren’t always so perfect behind the scenes.
According to a report from CheatSheet.com, things were especially tense on the set thanks to actress Melissa Sue Anderson. Anderson played Mary Ingalls on the long-running show. Most fans will remember Mary’s plotline focusing on her blindness.
This plotline was not what Michael Landon originally had in mind. Landon was the star of the series. He also served as a writer and executive producer on “Little House on the Prairie.” What he wanted for Mary Ingalls, as portrayed by Melissa Sue Anderson, was a love story. Landon wanted Mary to marry John Jr., who was played by Radames Pera, according to the report.
This didn’t happen because Anderson really, really, really disliked Pera. She even refused to kiss him, according to reports. Instead of the love story plotline, Landon decided to move forward with the blind plotline.
There was Drama Behind the Scenes on ‘Little House on the Prairie’
Alison Arngrim, who played Nellie Oleson on “Little House on the Prairie,” talks about this behind-the-scenes drama in her memoir, “Confessions of a Prairie B***h.”
“Michael had decided to postpone the whole plotline about her blindness indefinitely and let her become a romantic lead,” Arngrim writes, according to CheatSheet. “Radames was supposed to marry her. Unfortunately, Melissa Sue hated his guts, refused to kiss him, and eventually, he left the show. So, of course, that meant Michael had to go back to the old plotline and make her blind. The logical consequences of one’s actions or spiritual karma? You decide.”
Arngrim also says that Anderson threatened her physically while they worked on “Little House on the Prairie.”
Anderson’s unwillingness to work with Pera eventually led to his removal from the show. So, according to the report, the plot was changed. John Jr. moved to Chicago to work for a newspaper. Mary Ingalls and John Jr. begin a long-distance relationship. But, this eventually ends when Mary discovers that he has been unfaithful.
Interestingly, Arngrim says she was very interested in Pera – as a coworker and more.
“I, on the other hand, was crazy about Radames and could not believe Melissa didn’t like kissing him,” she wrote, according to CheatSheet. “I seriously thought about asking her if I could stunt double for her. … would have been quite happy to lighten that part of her workload. Radames had no romantic interest in me, of course.”
‘Prairie’ Reboot in Works
Fans of “Little House on the Prairie” can rejoice at the fact that Paramount is planning to reboot the classic television show.
Entertainment Weekly recently reported that the Ingalls family will be returning to their little farm on the prairie for a one-hour program after its final season ended with a bang in 1982. Paramount Network, the creator of the No. 1 television drama “Yellowstone,” plans to reboot the historical Western-based TV program.