“Little House on the Prairie” was one of the biggest shows on television when it was on the air. The plots of the episodes delved into social issues of the times through the lens of the mid-nineteenth century. At the same time, it showed the struggles and successes of a pioneer family. However, the stories behind the scenes were just as interesting as anything that viewers tuned in to see every week.
For instance, the youngest Ingalls daughter, Carrie, was played by twins. Lindsay and Sidney Greenbush were three years old when they took their combined role on “Little House on the Prairie.”
Because the character was so young, showrunners needed twins to play the role. This is due to child labor laws that only allowed young children to work a few hours a day. With twins, they were able to use the character twice as much.
They, nor their parents, planned for the Greenbush twins to be actresses. In fact, they landed the “Little House on the Prairie” role by chance. Sidney Greenbush told “Malibu News” about the coincidences that led to her and her sister landing the role in an interview.
Their father, Billy Greenbush, was an actor at the time. He appeared in several cult classic films like “Jason Goes to Hell,” and “Critters,” as well as TV shows like “Matlock,” and “Gunsmoke,” among many others according to his IMDb. It was Billy Greenbush that got the ball rolling on getting the twins on “Little House on the Prairie.” However, it was almost by accident.
Chance Interactions Led to the Greenbush Twins’ ‘Little House on the Prairie’ Role
Billy Greenbush was in a director’s office when a call came in. The man on the other end of the phone was looking for a set of twins for an upcoming made-for-television movie. Since Greenbush was right there, the director suggested his daughters try out for the role. Billy thought it sounded like a good idea. So, their mother took the twins to the audition.
Soon, the Greenbush twins were a step closer to “Little House on the Prairie.” First, they landed a combined role in the movie, “Sunshine,” which ran on CBS in November of 1973. The director of that film, Joseph Sargent, referred the girls to Michael Landon for the role of Carrie Ingalls.
Their mother took them to speak with Michael Landon about the role. He took them into his office alone to interview them. They were unfazed by being separated from their mom. At the same time, Landon saw something in them that he knew was right. So, he cast them as Carrie then and there. The rest is history.