In an interview, Little House on the Prairie actress Melissa Sue Anderson admitted that she didn’t cry during the emotional scenes in the show. Not only that, but she’d ruin emotional scenes for her friends. The actress played Mary Ingalls and received an Emmy nomination for the role.
“My friends.. it used to drive them nuts. My two best friends were the presidents [..] of my fan club at the time. And we were watching I’ll Be Waiting as You Drive Away, which is the two-part episode where I went blind, and they’d they were so angry because every time some horribly upsetting scene would come on I would say ‘oooh I remember this and I’d start to laugh,” she said.
Of course, that laughter was immediately greeted with shushes. But The Little House on the Prairie actress had a reasonable explanation for her antics.
“But that’s how I handled it. It’s also different when you’re watching it. You’re kind of embarrassed anyways,” she said.
You can watch the full clip below.
Melissa Sue Anderson eventually Left ‘Little House on the Prairie’
Even though Anderson was massively praised in her role as Mary Ingalls, she eventually decided it would be better for her to say goodbye. She left the show after seven seasons. Even though she left, she felt lucky for her chance to play Mary Ingalls.
“I’m lucky that there even was a character to play, because in the book, there isn’t much of one,” Anderson said. “Laura [Ingalls] was a quite older woman when she wrote the books. She was remembering the best of her life. The characters of Ma and Mary didn’t factor in a lot.”
Still, the Little House On The Prairie writers eventually gave Anderson more of a part to play in spite of the fact that Mary wasn’t a big character in the novels. That’s when Anderson truly got to shine and prove her worth as an actress.
The actress found it easier to leave because she was working on other projects including Love Boat. She knew that leaving Little House on the Prairie wouldn’t necessarily mark the end of her career.
She started on the show as just a child and went on to be one of the highest praised actors on the show by entertainment critics. While she may have felt her two close friends were the presidents of her fan club, they certainly weren’t the only members.