Albert from 'Little House on the Prairie' Is 52 Years Old and Looks More Handsome Than Ever
Despite all the years that have passed by, The Little House On The Prairie remains as one of the most popular shows of all times. Whether you watched it when it aired in 1974 or through reruns, we are pretty sure you fell in love with Laura, Albert Ingalls, and the other characters.
And speaking of which, have you ever wondered what happened with the main cast of the show? Over four decades later, we haven't heard much of our favorite kids. And it turns out that Albert, played by Matthew Labyorteaux, has led quite an exciting life, as well as some other actors of the series. If you want to know everything about them, all you have to do is scroll down and take a closer look at it!
WAS THE TV SHOW THAT SUCCESSFUL IN THE BEGINNING?
The American western drama TV series started with a pilot in March 1974 that introduced the Ingalls family to millions of viewers worldwide. The program was an adaptation of Laura Ingalls Wilder's books, which tell the tales of her youth in the American Midwest at the end of the 19th century.
After the pilot, the production picked up as a series in September of that year and ran for nine seasons until 1983 on NBC, according to The Little House On The Prairie's official website. The program was highly acclaimed and became a top-rated one that garnered two People's Choice Awards, seventeen Emmys, and three Golden Globes.
And here are some interesting facts that you might not know. For instance, we were shocked to find out that Michael Landon, the actor who played Charles Ingalls, directed 87 of the 204 episodes, as per Wide Open Country. Or do you remember Nellie Oleson and her gorgeous golden curls? It turns out they were fake, a wig.
And how can we forget the lovely town where the Ingalls had their adventures? According to the story, they were living in Walnut Grove, Minnesota. However, the show was filmed at the Big Sky Ranch in Simi Valley, California, where temperatures can get up to 100 degrees Fahrenheit.
Because of the costumes that the actors had to wear, it was commonplace for them to pass out on set. And talking about the town, the producers also agreed with the landowners that they would restore the land to its original state once the series finished. And they did so by blowing it up!
And now talking about the cast, let us recap the main ones. We could see Michael Landon starring as Charles Ingalls (Pa) and Karen Grassle as Caroline Ingalls (Ma). Their three daughters were portrayed by Melissa Gilbert as Laura Ingalls, Melissa Sue Anderson as Mary Ingalls, and Lindsay and Sidney Greenbush as Carrie Ingalls.
The family expanded in further seasons with the birth of Grace Ingalls (Wendi and Brenda Turnbaugh) and the adoption of Albert (Quinn) Ingalls, brought to life by Matthew Labyorteaux. Albert was a little boy who spent many years on the streets and orphanages and that today is the star of our article. You will not believe his life then and now.
HIS BARELY TOLERABLE CHILDHOOD
Matthew Charles Labyorteaux is a movie, television, and voice actor who was born on December 8, 1966. And it seems that his role as Albert was meant to be from the very moment he arrived in this world. Why, you might ask? Well, it turns out that he was not only adopted on the show.
As per Biography.com, Matthew was adopted when he was only ten months old. An actress called Frances Marshall and her husband, talent agent Ronald Labyorteaux decided to take the infant in. But to complicate things, Matthew was not a healthy baby.
He was born with a hole in his heart, but thankfully, it healed on its own. Shortly after, doctors sadly diagnosed him as autistic or retarded. They advised the parents to institutionalize him for the rest of his life, but Frances and Ronald refused to send him away. It turns out this was not the first experience for the couple.
Before Matthew, they adopted another boy called Patrick when he was nine months old and who, as his new brother, was labeled as psychotic. The physicians' advice was pretty much the same, but the parents turned a deaf ear to it.
Once at home with Matthew, the parents found out that he suffered from low blood sugar, which was the origin of his erratic behavior. The source reported Frances recalling:
"Sugar had been as poisonous to his system as alcohol or dope. The minute we corrected his diet, the change was drastic and immediate. All his problems disappeared."
GUIDING HIM ALONG THE ACTING PATH
As an actress, Frances wanted to guide her sons through the cinematographic path so that they could become professional actors from a young age. She would take them to auditions and acting classes, activities that were also part of Matthew's weekly therapies. However, little did the mother know the rough diamonds she had in her hands.
Patrick was a good kid, whereas Matthew certainly had difficulties. He learned how to walk when he was three and talk at the age of four. Moreover, the child did not let anyone pick him up, screaming, and trying to escape instead. So, how could he work on TV?
As reported by the NY Daily Beast, Labyorteaux lives life on the autism spectrum, but that never deterred him from pursuing a career in the film industry. But when a casting director proposed to France the audition of her sons for a commercial, she still couldn't believe her ears. About the offer, she recalled:
"I was panicked. He would throw a tantrum if anyone touched him, but Matthew just got up and followed her into the room. It was like sitting on a powder keg smoking a cigarette."
It was the rising of a star, indeed.
THE RISE TO STARDOM
Matthew got a handful of TV commercials before he had his acting debut in 1974's movie A Woman Under the Influence as Angelo Longhetti. That means that both Labyorteaux and his brother were already household names before they started working on The Little House on the Prairie.
Two years later, Matthew got a more prominent role. He was selected to play a young Charles Ingalls in some scenes at the beginning of the show, while his brother portrayed Andy Garvey, the Ingall's neighbor. In 1978, 12-year-old Matthew was offered the part of Albert Quinn Ingalls. He was part of the cast until 17 when the program called it quits.
During his five seasons on the show, Labyorteaux received two nominations for Best Young Actor. The program also helped him established himself as a well-known teen idol who even appeared in popular magazines such as Teen Beat, 16 Magazine, Tiger Beat, Bop, and Superteen. Some decades later, his life has changed a bit.
LIFE AFTER THE LITTLE HOUSE ON THE PRAIRIE
In 1983, Labyorteaux landed a role in Wes Craven's Deadly Friend. While occasionally taking on film roles today, Labyorteaux mostly works as a voice artist for television shows, animated films, and games. Labyorteaux has 60 film and voice credits to his name, and his career spans more than four decades.
In the late 90s, Matthew combined his passion for movies with his love for video games when he dabbled in the Disney musical Mulan as a voice-over artist. Since then, Matthew decided to dedicate his professional career to voice over, and he has been doing it for decades.
He is behind the much-beloved Clifford the Big Red Dog. Lately, he can be heard in Pokemon, Bride Wars, Spiderman, and as Jaden Yuki in the Yu-Gi-Oh! video games. He also adds several voices to Star Wars video games. Today, his work is also in high demand for TV series such as GI. Joe: Sigma 6 and Winx Club.
More recently, he was acknowledged for his narration of the children’s book called Leon and the Champion Chip. For it, he won the best recording of the year for Harper Collins in the category of Young Adult audio-book, according to the actor's blogpost.
In 2017, Labyorteaux said that his TV-dad, Michael Landon, was his role model, adding that "Michael Landon was the biggest influence. As a child, I watched him write, direct, star, and produce a TV show every week. He showed me what was possible."
Labyorteaux also credits his parents for his success. He grew up in a loving and supportive home. To show their gratitude, Labyorteaux and his brother created the Youth Rescue Fund in 1992. The organization helped others who aren't lucky enough to have a home and parents' like theirs.
The fund also provided counseling where needed, as well as assisted homeless teenagers and those who struggled with depression and substance abuse. Unfortunately, the fund is no longer operational. Regardless, the artist indeed found the way to keep himself active during all these years. And probably you agree with us that despite all the time that has passed by, Matthew is still the charmer he was back then.
AND WHAT ABOUT THE REST OF THE ACTRESSES?
We cannot finish without a brief update on our favorite girls of the show. Let us start with Melissa Gilbert, who portrayed Laura. As per Women, the actress continued regularly active in the acting world with roles in productions such as Babylon 5 and the biopic Choices of the Heart.
In March 2012, Gilbert joined the cast of Dancing with the Stars in season 14, but unfortunately, she did not win. She had a comeback in acting with parts in Secrets and Lies and Tenure. These days, the source reported that Melissa is not into acting. Instead, she is writing books for children now.
As for Melissa Sue Anderson, the actress who brought to life the big sis of the family, her time on the show was crucial. She was nominated for an Emmy Award for Best Leading Actress. Following that success, she kept herself active with numerous acting gigs such as her roles in 10.5: Apocalypse, The Equalizer, and the most recent one last year was in The Con Is On.
Apart from her acting career, Anderson also decided to try her hand at writing, as per Affair Post. In 2010, she released a bio about her time on the show called The Way I See It - A Look Back at My Life on Little House. Another interesting fact is that Sue Anderson now is a Canadian resident.
THE WONDERFUL CAST REUNION
And talking about the actors of the show, we cannot miss out the fantastic reunion on TODAY that everybody witnessed back in 2014 to mark the 40th anniversary of the successful production. And just like when a family gets together, we saw a lot of laughs, tears, and tons of anecdotes.
For the meeting, some of the actors present included Karen Grassle (Ma), Melissa Sue Anderson (Mary Ingalls), Melissa Gilbert (Laura Ingalls), Alison Arngrim (Nellie Oleson), Lindsay Greenbush (Carrie Ingalls), Dean Butler (Almanzo James Wilder), and Matthew Labyorteaux (Albert Quinn Ingalls).
After the video with the introduction of the segment, Grassle confessed, "I got tears in my eyes. First of all, I'm sitting here with these three daughters... And then to see them come running (in the clip) ... just kills me. ... I'm not really that sentimental."
SOME MORE MOVING WORDS
Gilbert then intervened to say that it was a very emotional and intense experience given all the time they spent together as a family. One shocking detail of the reunion is that Michael Landon Jr. ( the son of the late Michael Landon) was also there and even said a word.
He explained that one of the marvelous things of the series was the schedules his father set. "It doesn't happen anymore, but he was always home for dinner." Grassle also added that she wished Michael could see what the Little House still means to people.
AND FIVE YEARS LATER...
And fast-forwarding to 2019, we can still see the enormous impact that the Little House series had on people. The cast of the American production rejoined last month from the 12 to the 14 on the 45th anniversary of the program.
Some of the stars that got together included Dean Butler, Alison Arngrim, and Charlotte Stewart. The reunion took place at the Laura Ingalls Wilder Museum in Walnut Grove and included a family festival, contests, a breakfast at the community center, and autograph sessions, according to KRFO Radio.
The reunion concluded with a pancake breakfast and photo op with some of the members of the cast. The weekend of festivities attracted fans from all parts of the USA to Walnut Grove, the staple location of the series, which only shows how important the program is after 45 years.
SO, IS THERE A POSSIBILITY FOR A REBOOT?
We know you're dying to know the answer to the question, and it turns out that, luckily for all lovers of the show, that the reply is a maybe. As Daily Mail explained, the Little House might be the next iconic TV show to get a remake in the format of a movie.
The film was announced to be directed by Sean Durkin, the director of Martha Marcy May Marlene. Abi Morgan, a British screenwriter, has been appointed to work on the screenplay for the big-screen version of Little House on the Prairie.
However, there are no words on the possible cast for the famous Ingalls family. The sad part is that the news was heralded a couple of years ago. More recently, the status of the alleged production is kept under wraps. Could it still happen? We will have to wait and see.
Wow! There is so much to read about the Little House on the Prairie! Plus, no one can't deny that Matthew Labyorteaux's journey personally and professionally is worth admiring indeed. Don't you think? And we cannot forget the two Melissas as well! So now, we would love to read your thoughts about their lives. Please share them in the comment section down below. And stay tuned for more fantastic updates about our favorite actors!