“Little House on the Prairie” star Sidney Greenbush’s husband tragically ended his life after voicing her desire for a divorce. Meet the short and meteoric career of the twin sisters who played Carrie Ingalls in the famous ’70s TV series.
Child actors Sidney Greenbush and her identical twin Rachel Greenbush played the famous role of Carrie Ingalls on NBC’s “Little House on the Prairie” in the ’70s. The show is inspired by the best-selling children’s book series “Little House.”
After the first casting call, the charming girls got the role of Carrie immediately. The production decided they’d allow them to share the role — a common solution for twin child actors.
Cast members of the NBC "Little House of the Prairies," a successful TV series in the '70s.
The most common example of the above is Michelle Tanner’s role in “Full House.” Mary-Kate and Ashley Olsen portrayed her. From the first episode, “Little House on the Prairie” was an instant hit, and six months after the pilot aired in 1974, the series turned into a weekly show.
THE PUBLIC LOVE CARRIE INGALLS
The opening scene is memorable for fans of the show. In the opening sequence, Carrie falls in a meadow, which was a real accident. Sidney fell because she had one of her shoes on the wrong foot. But it was funny, Michael Landon loved it, and they kept the scene. The former star actor recalled:
“I remember running down the hill & getting going too fast. I fell & I remember my Mom was standing by the camera trying to get me to run again & I thought to myself “Nu-uh, no way, we’ll just walk”.
American actors Melissa Gilbert, Michael Landon (1936 - 1991), Karen Grassle, who holds an unidentified baby, Melissa Sue Anderson, and Lindsay or Sidney Greenbush. | Source: Getty Images
Carrie’s character was limited, and because fans loved her so much, they wanted to see more of the cute girl. However, the show star, Michael Landon, wasn’t that impressed with them.
Later on, the twins revealed that “Michael never made it fun” for them, and Rachel Lindsay said she was constantly afraid of making a mistake. But the sisters got a chance to prove to Landon that they were equally talented as their colleagues.
In their favorite episode, “The Godsister,” which was the first time the public had the opportunity to see the twin sisters together on the screen, they proved their talent to the show’s costar.
Actresses Lindsay Greenbush and Sidney Greenbush pose for a portrait in circa 1980. | Source: Getty Images
During the episode, Carrie creates an imaginary friend called Alyssa to keep her company as the girl felt lonely when her Pa left her for a month to work. The twins swapped between the characters during the episode.
Despite the show’s immediate success, the series had difficult periods, and the child actors were tired of playing the same character. Consequently, they called it when the eighth wrapped.
The show was on the rope and showing a decline in its ratings at the time. In the ninth season, Michael Landon decided to quit the series as well. The production renamed the show “Little House: A New Beginning,” but it didn’t help. The show was called off a few months later.
Actresses Lindsay and Sidney Greenbush attend an event with their parents actor Billy Green Bush and Carole Kay Bush circa 1980 in Los Angeles, California. | Source: Getty Images
THE SISTERS QUIT
The show didn’t open many doors for the sisters, who became familiar faces with the general public. Sidney and Rachel were so famous that they had the chance to visit the White House after writing a letter to the President’s daughter, Amy Carter.
Amy loved the series and invited the twins for a tour at the presidential house. The child actors decided to continue on the acting path after their breakthrough as Carrie.
A year after they quit “Little House on the Prairie,” Rachel guest-starred a crime drama series, and Sidney starred at the drama film “Hilly and Hambone.” Sidney also went to audition for the part of Dorothy Gale in “Return To Oz,” but didn’t pass.
Lindsay/Sidney Greenbush as Carrie Ingalls during the production of the series "Little House on the Prairie." | Source: Getty Images
Despite the fame, the twins had a hard time landing new gigs in Hollywood. In the years that followed the end of “Little House,” they appeared in many magazines and commercials but nothing beyond that. Rachel spoke candidly about it:
“We auditioned for a lot of the same rolls and it cost us a lot of parts because nobody ever wanted to choose between us and hurt the other one’s feelings.”
As a result, the sisters decided to retire from acting to focus on their studies, attending college. Their older brother, Clay, who made some appearances in the TV series, would later pursue a career as an actor and appeared in several Hollywood productions, such as “Super Hero” from 2008.
The former child actors had a great interest in horses, so they bought a 28-acre ranch in Malibu and took their passion for horses to the next level.
Rachel Lindsay Greenbush arrives at the Actors Fund's 2016 Looking Ahead Awards at the Taglyan Complex on December 6, 2016 in Los Angeles, California. | Source: Getty Images
Little is known about the sisters. Fans only know that Rachel moved to New Mexico in 1993, goes by her middle name, Lindsay, and worked at a ski resort. She also had a daughter with her first husband. The latest information says she lives in California with her current husband, Daniel Sanchez.
The couple met for the first time during the production of “Little House.” Sanchez was just a teenager and Rachel, a little girl, but they crossed paths later in life and eventually got together.
SIDNEY’S TRAGIC LOSS
Sidney studied animal science, pursued a career in pro rodeo, and became a Women’s Professional Rodeo Association member.
Actress Lindsay and Sidney Greenbush attend the Sixth Annual FILMEX: LOS Angeles International Film Exposition "Raggedy Ann & Andy: A Musical Adventure" at the Plitt's Century Plaza Theatres in Century City, California. | Source: Getty Images
She was married to Veterinarian and Horse Breeder William’ Rocky’ Foster for nine years. The couple worked closely together at their ranch in Visalia, California, to train and breed horses.
In 2009, a tragedy took place in Sidney’s life. She expressed she wanted a divorce from Foster, and as a result, he called the former actress two days later and told her he planned to kill himself.
Sidney called the police in despair. However, a neighbor had already found her late husband slumped on the ground. He was taken to hospital but died soon afterward.
If you or someone you know is considering suicide, please contact the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-TALK (8255), text “help” to the Crisis Text Line at 741-741, or go to suicidepreventionlifeline.org.