‘Little House on the Prairie’: The Hollywood Superstar Who Made Their Acting Debut on the Iconic Series

by Emily Morgan

While you can often find him in the newest Netflix series or directing films, Hollywood superstar Jason Bateman got his acting start on the beloved series “Little House On The Prairie.”

For nearly four decades, Bateman has been a prominent figure in Hollywood— partly thanks to his first gig on the show.

Based on Laura Ingalls Wilder’s cherished novels, the family-friendly show followed the Ingalls family during the 19th Century. 

Jason Bateman was 11-years-old when he made his debut during the seventh season.

Jason Bateman played the role of Jason Cooper, a boy left orphaned alongside his sister Cassandra after their parents die in an accident. As a result, the children raise themselves, and chaos ensues.

Bateman’s character endures various types of mishaps. During his time on the show, his character gets caught in a beartrap and gets shot during a bank robbery. 

For nearly 20 episodes, Bateman starred on the series until the show ended its run in 1983. 

‘Little House On The Prairie’ Kickstarted Bateman’s Long Career

After his time on “Little House on the Prairie,” he landed other jobs as a child actor on shows like “Silver Spoons” and “It’s Your Move.”

Bateman spent six years on the sitcom “The Hogan Family,” which went through some significant changes during its early years. Jason Bateman played the role of Valerie’s son David. 

In 1987 he scored his debut film role with Teen Wolf Too, where he played the cousin of Michael J. Fox’s character from the original. 

While the follow-up turned out to be a flop, Bateman later admitted that it was fun to make but not to watch. 

During the 1990s, Bateman began his transition from teen actor to adult star. Despite working on numerous T.V. movies, he wouldn’t land his big break until the early 2000s.

As for his adult career, Bateman has gone to star in various sitcoms and movies. He played the show’s protagonist in the hilarious comedy series “Arrested Development” in 2003. He also starred in the hilarious comedy, Horrible Bosses alongside Jennifer Aniston.

Bateman is also a talented director. He’s directed numerous episodes of Netflix’s hit series “Ozark” and episodes of HBO’s “The Outsider.”