While the 1970s drama Little House on the Prairie seemed like a very domestic and quaint show, the cast had its own drama going on behind the scenes. For instance, “Mary Ingalls Kendall” actress Melissa Sue Anderson actually omitted one of her costars from her memoir, “The Way I See It”. While she seemed like a sweet older sister in the show, Anderson didn’t much care for Melissa Gilbert.
Both Little House on the Prairie stars wrote memoirs and books about their time on the set. Melissa Gilbert’s book, Prairie Tale, came out in February of 2010. Her memoir includes a bit more of her personal life beyond just her time on the show. For instance, she talks about her own drug use which led to an up-and-down celebrity dating career including stints with Billy Idol and Rob Lowe.
She also included her own perspective of the relationships on the Little House on the Prairie set. For example, she talks about the drinking habits of Michael Landon, who both directed and acted in the show. She also describes her somewhat cold relationship with Melissa Sue Anderson. Gilbert believed that Anderson acted too seriously and too stuck up, so the two always butted heads on set despite acting as loving sisters.
Gilbert Left Out of Anderson’s Little House on the Prairie Memoir
Melissa Sue Anderson also wrote her own memoir of her time on the Little House on the Prairie television set. Her memoir, however, fails to mention Melissa Gilbert, her co-star, and the character based on the author of the book. While Gilbert describes their relationship as a cold, distant one, Anderson denies having much of a relationship with Gilbert at all.
“I honestly do not have a lot of memories of the two of us,” she said in an interview about her memoir. “We were very, very different.”
From the sounds of it, the two actors did lead some vastly different lifestyles outside of the Little House on the Prairie set. While Melissa Gilbert went through some pretty wild dating years and several husbands, Melissa Sue Anderson just settled down with Michael Sloan in 1990. They have two children together.
With that said, the two young actresses Melissa Gilbert and Melissa Sue Anderson were only 10 and 12 when Little House on the Prairie aired. Their lack of friendship could have been contributed by their difference in age.