Remember Mary from 'Little House on the Prairie'? Years later, she has hardly changed

Ksenia Novikova
Aug 03, 2018
01:07 P.M.

Still remembered for her role on the show as Mary, Melissa Sue Anderson leads her life away from the spotlight these days.


It was always fun to see Mary, Laura, and Carrie Ingalls rolling down the Minnesota prairie as part of the introduction for the successful television series Little House on the Prairie.

Melissa Anderson played Mary, the shy, older daughter to Michael Landon and Jaren Grassle's characters, Charles and Caroline Ingalls.

With her recent snap on Instagram, it's clear that she is still easily recognizable by her big blue eyes and much-loved face, even though her acting years have been put behind her.


Anderson earned an Emmy Award for her performance during the fourth season where her character went blind, and it was so deeply etched in the memories of the audience that even after three decades, fans still remember her as “Blind Mary,” according to Stanton Daily.

Born in Berkeley, California on September 26, 1962, Anderson quickly took to dancing and excelled on the stage. Impressed by her talent, her dance teacher urged her parents to find an agent.

She found work easily thanks to her piercing blue eyes and gorgeous blonde hair. She made her acting debut on an episode of Bewitched in 1972, aged 10. The following year, she made an appearance on The Brady Bunch as the girl who kissed Bobby Brady.

When she turned 11, she went in to audition for a new NBC series titled, Little House on the Prairie, also starring Michael Landon. In an interview, she revealed that there were initially 50 girls who auditioned for the part of the oldest daughter, Mary Ingalls.

The number was narrowed down to 25 girls that read for Landon. Finally, after the screen test, she was selected for the part that was to become an important part of her life.

The young actress made her debut on the show's two-hour movie pilot that aired on NBC in March 1974. The lives of the Ingalls family unfolded in Walnut Grove, Minnesota throughout the 1870's and 1880's, and Anderson spent the next eight seasons as the shy older sister who eventually went blind during the fourth season.


Taking her craft seriously, Anderson went to the Foundation for the Junior Blind and was instructed on how a young person adjusts to recent blindness.

It was the first time in the history of a television series that a show's regular had lost their sight and did not get it back! She said that it was “exciting and challenging at the beginning,” but was difficult to sustain over the years.

The role that made her the youngest nominee for the Emmy at the time, limited her character. She revealed that that was the reason for her to move on from the show, doing only three episodes in the eighth season.

She had many offers on hand when she appeared on the final two episodes of the season. With appearances on series like The Love Boat, Chips and Fantasy Island, she was also cast as Nancy Rizzi in Michael Landon's autobiographical film, The Loneliest Runner, in 1976.

Her role on the ABC Afterschool Special episode titled Which Mother is Mine? won her an Emmy Award in 1979, while Spain conferred her with the country's highest television award, the TP de Oro Award, for the Best Foreign Actress for her work on Little House on the Prairie.


She retired from television in 2007 and became a Canadian citizen after marrying Michael Sloan. She was seen in the spotlight rarely in the last decade.

“I’m retired, except to act when friends, who are producers or directors, ask me.”

Melissa Sue Anderson, Staton Daily, May 19, 2017.

She released her autobiography, The Way I see It – A Look Back at My Life On Little House in 2010. The book offers readers a glimpse of life on set with the cast and crew of the hit show.

It looks at her life after the show as she expresses gratitude for the boost it gave to her career. She was last seen in the 2016 film, The Brits Are Coming.She is currently happy spending time with her family away from the glamorous life of Hollywood.

Please fill in your e-mail so we can share with you our top stories!
By subscribing, you agree to our Privacy Policy
Related posts

Melissa Gilbert Ditched LA for a Simple Cottage Life in the Catskills: Glimpse inside Her Happy Life Now

October 31, 2023

Fans Amazed by Alison Arngrim's 'Terrific' Look At 62 with Pixie Cut as She Poses on Magazine Cover

January 26, 2024

Melissa Gilbert’s ‘Great’ Face Didn’t Feel like Hers in Her 40s before Earning ‘Freedom’

December 06, 2023

Brian Keith’s 3 Spouses Were All Actresses — Facts about His Marriages

December 13, 2023

Gia Olimp Is Anthony Carrigan's Wife Whom He Met on the Subway by Chance

December 06, 2023

This Girl Became a Famous Actress & Experienced Harsh Criticism for Her Look - Later She Surprised Everyone with Her Changes

February 23, 2024

Adrian Holmes' Wife Is Also in the Entertainment Industry and the Love of His Life

November 21, 2023

Woman Returns From Work to Find Her Husband in Bed With Another Woman – Story of the Day

April 28, 2024

'It Means So Much to Me': Susan Lucci's Unfamous Son Showed Up to Support Her at Awards Ceremony

December 18, 2023

Wife Returns From Work to Find Her Husband in Bed With Another Woman – Story of the Day

November 03, 2023

Susan Sarandon’s Youngest Son Is Now in His 30s, Taller than Her & Has Cut His Long Hair

November 22, 2023

‘Grease’ Star Stockard Channing Changed after Moving to Another Country & Her Partner’s Death – What Happened to Her

February 15, 2024

‘Grease’ Star Stockard Channing Changed after Moving to Another Country & Her Partner’s Death – What Happened to Her

April 30, 2024

Jacqueline Pelosi Owns an Art Studio – Meet Nancy Pelosi's Daughter

November 28, 2023