Meet Little House on the Prairie Cast

It's been more than 40 years since the "Little House on Prairie" premiered on NBC network. We bet you missed them as much as we do! Good news! You can watch the short comedy "Livin' On a Prairie" that promises a cast member reunion! But if you're curious how all of your fave characters are doing today, read on!

Image Credit: Getty Images/Bettmann | The cast of Little House on the Prarie in 1974

Image Credit: Getty Images/Bettmann | The cast of Little House on the Prarie in 1974


THEN: MELISSA GILBERT AS LAURA INGALLS WILDER

Melissa Gilbert was able to make a name for herself at such a young age with her role on the Little House on the Prairie as Laura Ingalls, which she played from 1974 until 1983. In fact, she won the coveted role by beating the other 500 child actors! It became her big break and took her to immediate stardom. 

Image Credit: Getty Images/NBC Television |  Melissa Gilbert on Little House on the Prarie

Image Credit: Getty Images/NBC Television |  Melissa Gilbert on Little House on the Prarie

Her career reached the summit in the '70s and '80s after Little House on the Prairie, as she starred in popular movies including The Diary of Anne Frank and Choices of the Heart. And at the age of 21, she got a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame. What an achievement! 

Image Credit: Getty Images/NBCU Photo Bank/Frank Carroll | Matthew Laborteaux as Albert Quinn Ingalls, Melissa Gilbert as Laura Ingalls Wilder, Michael Landon as Charles Philip Ingalls from Little House on the Prarie

Image Credit: Getty Images/NBCU Photo Bank/Frank Carroll | Matthew Laborteaux as Albert Quinn Ingalls, Melissa Gilbert as Laura Ingalls Wilder, Michael Landon as Charles Philip Ingalls from Little House on the Prarie


NOW: MELISSA GILBERT

Over the last few years, Gilbert appeared in various films and TV shows. She had supporting roles in Secret or Lies or The Night Shift and in One Smart Fellow, a short film released in 2015. She recently had one film in post-production called When We Last Spoke that is set to be released this year. 

Image Credit: Getty Images/Rodin Eckenroth | Melissa Gilbert poses for portrait at the 34th Annual Santa Barbara International Film Festival

Image Credit: Getty Images/Rodin Eckenroth | Melissa Gilbert poses for portrait at the 34th Annual Santa Barbara International Film Festival

Melissa is currently living a "Prairie Life" with her family in Sullivan County, New York. "This is our 'Little House in the Catskills,' I guess you could call it," she said. Aside from living the farm life in the middle of the pandemic, she has also been promoting a new podcast with her husband, Timothy Busfield, whom she married in 2013.

Image Credit: Getty Images/Nick Hagen for The Washington Post via Getty Images | Melissa Gilbert sits for a portrait at her home in Brighton, Michigan with her husband Timothy Busfield.

Image Credit: Getty Images/Nick Hagen for The Washington Post via Getty Images | Melissa Gilbert sits for a portrait at her home in Brighton, Michigan with her husband Timothy Busfield.


THEN: MICHAEL LANDON AS CHARLES INGALLS

Did you know that Michael Landon was born as Eugene Maurice Orowitz? He changed his name to Michael Landon upon entering acting school. Truth is, he chose that stage name from the telephone book! Landon established his acting career with notable roles in the film 'I Was a Teenage Werewolf' and TV series 'Bonanza' before Little House on the Prairie.

Image Credit: Getty Images/NBC Television | Michael Landon (1936 - 1991) stands in a field in a still from the television series, 'The Little House On The Prairie,' circa 1976.

Image Credit: Getty Images/NBC Television | Michael Landon (1936 - 1991) stands in a field in a still from the television series, 'The Little House On The Prairie,' circa 1976.

He portrayed the strong, reliable, and faithful patriarch of the Ingalls' family as Charles Ingalls on Little House on the Prairie. Landon caught the hearts of many with his character and became known as America's favorite father. In fact, he also became Gilbert's real-life father figure after she lost her biological father at the age of 11.  

Image Credit: Getty Images/NBC Television | Headshot of Landon from the tv show

Image Credit: Getty Images/NBC Television | Headshot of Landon from the tv show


NOW: MICHAEL LANDON

In April 1991, Landon discovered that he had an illness that would affect his life. He talked about it on The Tonight Show and in his interview with Life Magazine. He openly tackled how it became a struggle in living his normal life and later on asked his fans to think of him. 

Image Credit: Getty Images/Ron Galella Collection via Getty Images/Ron Galella | Michael Landon attends the Moscow Circus Opening Night Performance on March 6, 1991

Image Credit: Getty Images/Ron Galella Collection via Getty Images/Ron Galella | Michael Landon attends the Moscow Circus Opening Night Performance on March 6, 1991

Unfortunately, after playing the main character in Highway to Heaven, his battle with cancer ended later that summer of 1991 when was only 54 years old. Today, there's a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame that commemorates the late actor. He will always be remembered at the Ingalls patriarch! 

Image Credit: Getty Images/Kypros | Michael Landon (1936 - 1991), Hollywood, California, circa 1990.

Image Credit: Getty Images/Kypros | Michael Landon (1936 - 1991), Hollywood, California, circa 1990.


THEN: MELISSA SUE ANDERSON AS MARY INGALLS

Melissa Anderson portrayed Mary, the oldest of the Ingalls children. Mary was a smart bookish girl but also relatively shy. In real life, Anderson was just like her character so it is now wonder why she seemed perfect for the role. She is also known for her roles in movies such as Midnight Offerings and Happy Birthday to Me.

Image Credit: Getty Images/NBC Television | Melissa Sue Anderson as Mary Ingalls from season 1 of Little House on the Prarie

Image Credit: Getty Images/NBC Television | Melissa Sue Anderson as Mary Ingalls from season 1 of Little House on the Prarie


NOW: MELISSA SUE ANDERSON

Anderson was the only cast member to receive an Emmy nomination for her work on Little House on the Prairie. It helped her earn roles in series like Murder, She Wrote, and The Equalizer. However, she took a break from acting in 2010 and hasn't appeared in many films since then. 

Image Credit: Getty Images/NBC Television | Melissa Sue Anderson as Mary Ingalls

Image Credit: Getty Images/NBC Television | Melissa Sue Anderson as Mary Ingalls

After leaving the spotlight, she released her autobiography The Way I See It: A Look Back at My Life on Little House. It was about her early years in acting and was dedicated to the show that made her famous. Melissa has been a stay at home mom for a while now and might be enjoying her life to the fullest. 

Image Credit: Getty Images/NBCUniversal via Getty Images/NBCU Photo Bank/Peter Kramer | Melissa Sue Anderson appears on NBC News' "Today" show

Image Credit: Getty Images/NBCUniversal via Getty Images/NBCU Photo Bank/Peter Kramer | Melissa Sue Anderson appears on NBC News' "Today" show


THEN: LINDSAY AND SIDNEY GREENBUSH AS CARRIE INGALLS

Lindsay and Sidney Greenbush are identical twins who shared the role of Carrie Ingalls, the third daughter of the Ingalls' family from 1974 until 1982. After the Little House on the Prairie ended, they landed on a few small roles like appearing on an episode of Matt Houston and starring for several commercials. Both of them retreated from the spotlight since then.

Image Credit: Getty Images/NBCUniversal via Getty Images/NBCU Photo Bank/Gary Null | Lindsay/Sidney Greenbush as Carrie Ingalls

Image Credit: Getty Images/NBCUniversal via Getty Images/NBCU Photo Bank/Gary Null | Lindsay/Sidney Greenbush as Carrie Ingalls


NOW: LINDSAY AND SIDNEY GREENBUSH

Sidney married horse breeder Rocky Foster for nine years but sadly, he passed away in 2009. She owns a lovely horse ranch and continues the work of her husband, breeding and training championship horses in the central California area. It seems her life has really taken on some farm aspects from Little House!

Image Credit: Getty Images/Michael Ochs Archives | Actresses Lindsay Greenbush and Sidney Greenbush pose for a portrait in circa 1980.

Image Credit: Getty Images/Michael Ochs Archives | Actresses Lindsay Greenbush and Sidney Greenbush pose for a portrait in circa 1980.

Lindsey married her long-time boyfriend Daniel Sanchez in 2014 whom she actually met at the set of Little House and reunited 10 years later as adults. She now lives in California and is heavily into boxing. Though both of them starred as 'Carrie', it was Lindsey who attends reunion events for the show.

Image Credit: Getty Images/Loreen Sarkis |  Rachel Lindsay Greenbush attends "A Little House Christmas"  2016

Image Credit: Getty Images/Loreen Sarkis |  Rachel Lindsay Greenbush attends "A Little House Christmas"  2016


THEN: KAREN GRASSLE AS CAROLINE INGALLS

Karen Grassle became involved in theatre during her college days at the University of California. So she applied to study theatre arts at the London Academy of Music and Dramatic Art in 1965. She then debuted in Broadway and earned the best newcomer. Theatre was still her first love but in the early 1970s, she found herself appearing for TV commercials. 

Image Credit: Getty Images/NBC | Karen Grassle as Caroline Quiner Holbrook Ingalls in the pilot episode of the show

Image Credit: Getty Images/NBC | Karen Grassle as Caroline Quiner Holbrook Ingalls in the pilot episode of the show

Her education paid off because she later auditioned for the role of 'Ma' on the Little House on the Prairie and became one of the most versatile actors on the show. For over 180 episodes, she played 'Ma' remarkably by supporting Laura's adventures in life. 

Image Credit: Getty Images/NBCUniversal via Getty Images/NBCU Photo Bank | Karen Grassle as Caroline Quiner Holbrook Ingalls 

Image Credit: Getty Images/NBCUniversal via Getty Images/NBCU Photo Bank | Karen Grassle as Caroline Quiner Holbrook Ingalls 


NOW: KAREN GRASSLE

After the series' finale, Karen returned to her first love, theatre. But she also never left the small screen. She was featured in films such as 'Battered', 'The Love Boat' and 'Murder, She Wrote' all showcasing her versatility. In 2017, she appeared in a horror film, Lasso. Karen currently lives in the San Francisco bay area with her daughter Lily. 

Image Credit: Getty Images/WireImage/Michael Bezjian | Karen Grassle at The Cable Show

Image Credit: Getty Images/WireImage/Michael Bezjian | Karen Grassle at The Cable Show


THEN: DEAN BUTLER AS ALMONZO WILDER

Dean Butler played Laura's on-screen love interest and husband, Almonzo Wilder. But before that, he started with a small role in the TV series The Streets of San Francisco and later earning his first major role in the 1978 TV movie Forever. After Little House, he continued acting in films such as The New Gidget and in Buffy the Vampire Slayer. 

Image Credit: Getty Images/NBC Television | Dean Butler as Wilder and Melissa Gilbert as Laura

Image Credit: Getty Images/NBC Television | Dean Butler as Wilder and Melissa Gilbert as Laura


NOW: DEAN BUTLER

Butler is now an accomplished stage actor. He played lead roles on Broadway like in Into the Woods as Rapunzel's Prince and performed as Tony in the West Side Story. He has his own production company where he produced Little House DVD bonus content and two documentaries about Almanzo Wilder and Laura Ingalls Wilder. 

Image Credit: Getty Images/NBC | Dean Butler as Wilder and Melissa Gilbert as Laura

Image Credit: Getty Images/NBC | Dean Butler as Wilder and Melissa Gilbert as Laura

He is married to Katherine Cannon who played Felice Martin on the television series Beverly Hills 90210. They met at an audition for Landon's series Father Murphy when Cannon auditioned for the female lead. They currently live in Los Angeles, California.

Image Credit: Getty Images/Getty Images for Extra/D Dipasupil | Butler (3rd row on the right) with the rest of the cast of Little House 

Image Credit: Getty Images/Getty Images for Extra/D Dipasupil | Butler (3rd row on the right) with the rest of the cast of Little House 


THEN: ALISON ARNGRIM AS NELLIE OLESON DALTON

Alison Arngrim played Nellie Oleson, the forever nemesis of Laura. She was the very first character you would really hate on the show. But did you know that originally, Arngrim didn't audition for Nellie? But for Laura and Mary? Yes, but she didn't land on both parts and got Nellie instead! You could say she really played the role well!

Image Credit: Getty Images/NBC Television | Charlotte Stewart (left) and Alison Arngrim in a scene from the show

Image Credit: Getty Images/NBC Television | Charlotte Stewart (left) and Alison Arngrim in a scene from the show

Even though Arngrim and Gilbert always fought on-screen as rivals, in real life, they were friends and literally grew up together on the show. Arngrim owed her character, Nellie, for pushing her out of her comfort zone and giving her the chance to live her childhood. 

Image Credit: Getty Images/NBC Television | Alison Arngrim and actor Bob Marsic (left) are married by an unidentified actor in the elopement scene from the show.

Image Credit: Getty Images/NBC Television | Alison Arngrim and actor Bob Marsic (left) are married by an unidentified actor in the elopement scene from the show.


NOW: ALISON ARNGRIM

Arngrim landed a few roles in film and TV after “Little House on the Prairie”. However, she loved the stage the most. So she performed stand-up and even played parody stage versions of the show. She was indeed a natural-born performer! 

Image Credit: Getty Images/Francois Durand | Alison Arngrim poses at the photocall for "Little house on the prairie" during the 46th annual Monte Carlo Television Festival

Image Credit: Getty Images/Francois Durand | Alison Arngrim poses at the photocall for "Little house on the prairie" during the 46th annual Monte Carlo Television Festival

In 2010, she wrote her autobiography entitled "Confessions of a Prairie [Girl]: How I Survived Nellie Oleson and Learned to Love Being Hated". She revealed how her "Little House on the Prairie" changed her and how "bratty Nellie" saved her life. She has been married to musician Robert Paul Schoonover since 1993.

Image Credit: Getty Images/Brandon Williams | Alison Arngrim attends the 'Real To Reel: Portrayals And Perceptions Of LGBTQS In Hollywood' event

Image Credit: Getty Images/Brandon Williams | Alison Arngrim attends the 'Real To Reel: Portrayals And Perceptions Of LGBTQS In Hollywood' event


THEN: JASON BATEMAN AS JAMES COOPER INGALLS

Jason Bateman comes from a show business family. So it's unsurprising that he started as an actor in his early teen years by making his debut in 1981 in the 'Little House on the Prairie' as James Cooper Ingalls, the adopted son of Charles and Caroline Ingalls. Then he starred as Rick Schroder in sitcom Silver Spoons in 1982. 

Image Credit: Getty Images/NBCU Photo Bank/NBCUniversal via Getty Images | Michael Landon as Charles Philip Ingalls, Jason Bateman as James Cooper Ingalls

Image Credit: Getty Images/NBCU Photo Bank/NBCUniversal via Getty Images | Michael Landon as Charles Philip Ingalls, Jason Bateman as James Cooper Ingalls


NOW: JASON BATEMAN

He appeared in hit films including Juno, and Horrible Bosses. He is also famous for starring in the cult comedy Arrested Development and currently stars in the crime thriller Ozark on Netflix. He married Amanda, the daughter of singer Paul Anka in 2003, and in 2006, they welcomed their first child, Francesca. They now live in Los Angeles, California.

Image Credit: Getty Images/JC Olivera | Bateman at the premier of HBO's The Outsider

Image Credit: Getty Images/JC Olivera | Bateman at the premier of HBO's The Outsider

"Livin on a Prairie" had six episodes that were premiered on May 24. During the June 21 finale, it concluded with a cast reunion that would serve as a fundraiser for The Actors Fund. And if you haven't watched it yet, what are you waiting for? Otherwise, check out our page for more great content like this!

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