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Actor Who Played Albert on 'Little House on the Prairie' Was Born With a Hole in His Heart

Oyin Balogun
Sep 18, 2021
10:10 P.M.
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Matthew Labyorteaux has enjoyed his career in the movie industry. While many celebrate his talent, they are unaware of the actor's struggles with health-related issues.

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Lovers of the TV series "Little House On The Prairie" would never forget Matthew Labyorteaux, who played the role of Albert. After his appearance on the series, Matthew landed other roles in "Deadly Friend" and "Max Payne."

Although the actor achieved fame and fortune, his life was fraught with difficulties, even from childbirth. Matthew was born on December 8, 1996, and upon his birth, the doctors discovered a hole in his heart and left it to heal on its own.

Picture of "Little House on the Prairie" star Matthew Labyorteaux as Albert on the show. | Photo: Getty Images

Picture of "Little House on the Prairie" star Matthew Labyorteaux as Albert on the show. | Photo: Getty Images

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Not long after, baby Matthew was adopted by his parents, Ron and Frankie Labyorteaux. While growing up, the actor's life was filled with several challenges. Other kids began walking between six months and one year; Matthew did not walk until three.

At a young age, Matthew was diagnosed with autism, a condition that hindered his speaking abilities. He finally began to speak when he was four years old, and whenever anyone tried to pick him up, he would scream.

AJ Calloway with Matthew Labyorteaux, Michael Landon, Jr., Alison Arngrim, Karen Grassle, Melissa Sue Anderson, Dean Butler, and Lindsay Greenbush of "Little House On The Prairie" during their visit to "Extra" on April 30, 2014 | Photo: Getty Images

AJ Calloway with Matthew Labyorteaux, Michael Landon, Jr., Alison Arngrim, Karen Grassle, Melissa Sue Anderson, Dean Butler, and Lindsay Greenbush of "Little House On The Prairie" during their visit to "Extra" on April 30, 2014 | Photo: Getty Images

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Matthew's health challenges transcended only autism and the heart condition; he also suffered low blood sugar. Little Matthew also slept while standing, and the doctors declared that the child would never be normal.

Matthew's adoptive parents never accepted the doctor's verdict, instead, they supported him as much as they could, and he became a great child actor alongside his brother Patrick. Patrick was born in 1965, and like Matthew, he was also adopted.

Last year, he tied the knot with his wife, Leslie Labyorteaux, and the pair are doting parents to two children.

Matthew Labyorteaux is clutched by Kristy Swanson in a scene from the film "Deadly Friend," circa 1986. | Photo: Getty Images

Matthew Labyorteaux is clutched by Kristy Swanson in a scene from the film "Deadly Friend," circa 1986. | Photo: Getty Images

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Patrick was not the perfect child, and he also battled with health challenges. At a young age, the child was diagnosed with schizophrenia by welfare workers and doctors.

When Patrick was adopted, he suffered malnutrition; however, with love and care, the symptoms slowly disappeared. Patrick and Matthew landed several roles in movies as children.

'atrick Labyorteaux and actor Matthew Laborteaux at the 20th Annual California Special Olympics S#mmer Games Closing Night Ceremonies on June 25, 1989

'atrick Labyorteaux and actor Matthew Laborteaux at the 20th Annual California Special Olympics S#mmer Games Closing Night Ceremonies on June 25, 1989

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At seven, the former was already a familiar face on McDonald's and Cheerios commercials. After he clocked eight, he got to act alongside Lucille Ball on "Mame."

Matthew landed his first big role in 1974 when he was cast in the John Cassavetes film, "A Woman Under The Influence." Soon after, he made appearances in "King Of The Gypsies," "Bravo Two," and many more.

Patrick Labyorteaux and actor Matthew Laborteaux at Michael Landon's Second Annual Celebrity Gala to Benefit the National Down Syndrome Congress on October 15, 1988 | Photo: Getty Images

Patrick Labyorteaux and actor Matthew Laborteaux at Michael Landon's Second Annual Celebrity Gala to Benefit the National Down Syndrome Congress on October 15, 1988 | Photo: Getty Images

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He got to play his role as Albert on "Little House on the Prairie in 1983." He lasted a few episodes before he went off camera after his character was diagnosed with Leukemia after a nosebleed and exhaustion.

After these movie roles, Matthew achieved greater milestones even in his personal life. Last year, he tied the knot with his wife, Leslie Labyorteaux, and the pair are doting parents to two children. On the other hand, Patrick got married in 1998 and welcomed a son the next year.

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