‘Little House on the Prairie’: What Were Melissa Sue Anderson’s Biggest Roles After the Show?

by Katie Maloney
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Where did Mary Ingalls go after Little House on the Prairie? Here are all the roles Melissa Sue Anderson took on after the show ended.

Melissa Sue Anderson didn’t plan on becoming a famous actor. However, her childhood dance instructor urged her parents to get Melissa an agent. After doing so, the roles started flooding in. Melissa began her career with commercials. But her career really took off after playing Millicent on The Brady Bunch – with who Bobby Brady had his first kiss. She also made an appearance on the television show Bewitched and the movie Shaft. Then she landed the biggest role of them all, Mary Ingalls on Little House on the Prairie. During an interview, Melissa talked about how lucky she was that the show featured Mary so prominently.

“I’m lucky that there even was a character to play because, in the book, there isn’t much of one. Laura [Ingalls] was a quite older woman when she wrote the books. She was remembering the best of her life,” said Melissa. The characters of Ma and Mary didn’t factor in a lot. There was a lot of Laura and Pa and Laura and Jack the dog and Laura and Mr. Edwards, but there wasn’t a lot of Mary. I’m fortunate that they discovered that I could act.”

For her role as Mary on Little House on the Prairie, Melissa won an Emmy Award for Best Leading Actress in a Drama Series. But what did she do after the show ended?

Melissa Sue Anderson on The Brady Bunch.

Where Is Melissa Sue Anderson of Little House On The Prairie Now?

Following her role on Little House on the Prairie, Melissa snagged roles in Midnight Offerings, The Loneliest Runner, The Love Boat, Fantasy Island, Murder, She Wrote, Spider-Man and His Amazing Friends, Alfred Hitchcock Presents, and CHiPs. However, after getting married and having children, Melissa wanted to ensure that her kids had a life outside of the spotlight. So she and her family packed up and moved to Canada where they still live today. After about a seven-year break from the spotlight, Melissa returned to acting. She has since made appearances in The Equalizer, The Return of Sam McCloud, 10.5: Apocalypse, Veronica Mars, The Con Is On, and Far North. During an interview, Melissa shared that she’s happy for the time she spent away from the camera.

“I really stepped away (from acting) for a long time,” she said. “I was completely retired for five, six, seven years, and then I’ve done little tiny things since but that was really for the kids so they would have their own sense of who they were as opposed to being with me.”

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