‘Little House on the Prairie’ Actor Explained Why it Was ‘Hard’ to Have Romance on Show

by Joe Rutland
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When attempting to start up romance on “Little House on the Prairie,” it wasn’t really easy for one actor to get into those types of scenes.

Melissa Sue Anderson, who played the oldest daughter Mary Ingalls on the NBC family drama, talked about having to tackle love on the show. The second season ends with Mary falling in love with John Edwards Jr., played by Radames Pera.

Anderson, who portrayed Mary from 1974 to 1981 on “Little House on the Prairie,” is asked if having a love relationship was tough on screen.

‘Little House on the Prairie’ Actor Wasn’t ‘Enamored’ With On-Screen Romance

“Yeah, it was,” Anderson said in a 2007 interview. “I wasn’t, um, enamored.

“I think he was more ready to dive in and do a great job,” Anderson said. “And I tried really hard but it was hard at that age to be portraying someone who’s almost interested in marrying someone at 15 or 14, 14 I think, was difficult.”

In the “Little House on the Prairie” storyline, Mary broke up their engagement so John could chase his dreams of being a writer.

Anderson appeared on the show full-time for seven seasons and in two episodes late in the eighth season. After that, she left the show for good. Her show business career, though, continued as Anderson had numerous guest-starring roles on other TV series.

“Little House on the Prairie” provided her a solid foundation for her career. Anderson now lives in Canada with her husband and two children.

Caroline Ingalls Character Was Glad To Move On From Show

Another actress involved romantically, although much different than Anderson’s story, on “Little House on the Prairie” was Karen Grassle.

She played matriarch Caroline Ingalls opposite of Michael Landon’s Charles Ingalls.

Grassle, too, was ready to leave that show ASAP. In fact, Grassle pretty much left the main cast in the show’s final season. Its focus turned toward the children, not giving her a lot of screen time.

“I really felt happy to be asked to be a part of it, to have closure with it,” Grassle said in an interview about the series finale. “But I felt very sad that Michael had made this choice to blow up the town. When I was finished doing the show, I was very glad to move on with my life.”

Grassle admits receiving accolades for helping people face life issues through the show is tough since Landon, who died in 1991, isn’t around to receive them, too.

“Michael dealt with a number of things, racism, and bullying, and drug abuse, alcoholism, in his own way,” Grassle said. “But it couldn’t come into that family core. And now, you see, I can look back as unfortunately Michael cannot, and understand what that meant to people.”

The show is still special as new generations meet the Ingalls.

Outsider.com