‘Little House on the Prairie’: Karen Grassle Turned Down Many Roles After Show for Surprising Reason

by Joe Rutland
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Usually, stars from hit TV series look for a new project. That was not the case for “Little House on the Prairie” star Karen Grassle.

She had a whole different idea about her life. Grassle wanted to do something that would truly provide her personal satisfaction in her life. In other words, that meant having a family.

“After the series, the truth is I really wanted to have my own family,” Grassle said in a 2004 interview for Dave’s Gone By. “And I was asked to do certain movies of the week, and television series wanted me to come and meet them and I said, ‘Thank you but no thank you.'”

‘Little House on the Prairie’ Actor Sought To Replicate TV Life In Her Own Life

Grassle, who played matriarch Caroline Ingalls on “Little House on the Prairie,” said she wanted to have the experience that she’d been acting about for a long time.

“My energy went into having a family at that point,” she said. “So I think at that time, I think I had the second-highest TVQ (television identity) in the country in terms of women.”

She said that she didn’t take advantage of that type of momentum. After that, Grassle decided against going to another show.

TV Star Says Show Allowed Her To Be Economically Free

“I really felt like the wonderful thing about ‘Little House,’” she said, “was that it freed me economically. I could make my own choices about what to do with my life and what to do with my career.”

Obviously, Karen Grassle did just that. She married her second husband, James Radford, and had three stepchildren.

“My husband and I adopted a little girl baby and this is my daughter that I have raised,” Grassle said. “And it’s been extremely satisfying for me to be a parent.”

“Little House on the Prairie” starred Michael Landon as patriarch Charles Ingalls. Additionally, cast members included Melissa Gilbert as Laura Ingalls, Melissa Sue Anderson as Mary Ingalls, and Alison Arngrim as Nellie Oleson.

Grassle Co-star Gilbert Receives Support From Castmate Arngrim

Speaking of Arngrim, she says that she has a lot of sympathy for Grassle’s on-screen fellow actor Gilbert. Similarly, she has watched the “Little House on the Prairie” star having to live up to the role she played on the NBC family drama.

“It’s actually freed me up to say and do stuff get away with things that I couldn’t normally if I was this America’s sweetheart nice girl,” Arngrim said in a 2016 interview for Pop Goes The Culture TV. “So I am very sympathetic to Melissa Gilbert. Can you imagine having to live with that Laura Ingalls thing on your head?”

In conclusion, Arngrim said, “If the girl has, like, PMS one day it’s suddenly, ‘Oh, how can you be so cruel. You’re Laura Ingalls.’ The woman cannot get a headache. It’s like she has to be perfect all the time. It’s horrible.”

Outsider.com