‘Little House on the Prairie’: A Look Back at the Cast

If you’re taking a trip down memory lane or you’re just starting to watch Little House on the Prairie, you might be interested in knowing more about the actors in this classic television show. Here’s a rundown of who’s in the main cast.

Michael Landon

Michael Landon on 'Little House on the Prairie | NBCU Photo Bank
Michael Landon on ‘Little House on the Prairie | NBCU Photo Bank

Michael Landon played Charles Ingalls. One of Landon’s early acting roles was in a 1955 episode of Luke and the Tenderfoot titled “The Boston Kid.” He played the role of Clyde Meacham. The following year, Landon appeared in an episode of The Sheriff of Cochise titled “Human Bomb.” He made his film debut in the 1957 movie I Was a Teenage Werewolf.

Landon continued his rise to fame after joining the cast of Bonanza in 1959. He played Joseph “Little Jo” Cartwright until the show ended in 1973. Landon starred in yet another successful television series when he began playing Jonathan Smith on Highway to Heaven. His final on-screen appearance was in the TV movie Us.

Melissa Gilbert

Melissa Gilbert | James Devaney/WireImage

Melissa Gilbert played Laura Ingalls. One of her early acting roles was in the 1967 film The Reluctant Astronaut. The following year, she appeared in a 1968 Christmas episode of The Dean Martin Show. In 1972, Gilbert played Spratt’s child in an episode titled “The Judgment.”

Gilbert went on to star in many TV movies. One of her first TV movies was Christmas Miracle in Caufield, U.S.A., in which she played the role of Kelly. After that, Gilbert portrayed Helen Keller in the 1979 TV movie The Miracle Worker. Some of her other acting roles include appearances in The Diary of Anne Frank, Without Her Consent, Sweet Justice, and Dying to Remember.

Karen Grassle

Karen Grassle  |NBCU Photo Bank
Karen Grassle |NBCU Photo Bank

Karen Grassle played Caroline Ingalls. One of her early acting roles was in an episode of Love of Life. After that, she appeared in a 1969 episode of New York Television Theatre. In 1974, Grassle played Fran in an episode of Gunsmoke titled “The Wiving.”

Grassle made her film debut in the 1981 movie Harry’s War, in which she played Kathy. Like Gilbert, she has a lot of TV movies under her belt. Some of her TV movie appearances include roles in Emily, Emily; Battered; and Between the Darkness and Dawn. She has also appeared in Wyatt Earp, Harry’s War, and The President’s Mistress.

Melissa Sue Anderson

Melissa Sue Anderson as Mary Ingalls | Bruce Birmelin/NBCU Photo Bank
Melissa Sue Anderson as Mary Ingalls | Bruce Birmelin/NBCU Photo Bank

Melissa Sue Anderson played Mary Ingalls. One of Anderson’s early acting roles was in a 1972 episode of Bewitched titled “Tabitha’s First Day at School.” The following year, she played Millicent in an episode titled “Never Too Young.”

Anderson made her film debut in the 1981 movie Happy Birthday to Me, in which she played the character Virginia Wainwright. After Little House on the Prairie, Anderson made appearances in The Love Boat, The Equalizer (the original television series), and Dead Men Don’t Die.

Dean Butler

Dean Butler | Bobby Bank/Getty Images
Dean Butler | Bobby Bank/Getty Images

Dean Butler played Almanzo Wilder. One of Butler’s early acting roles was in the 1978 TV movie Forever. After Little House on the Prairie, he made appearances on The Love Boat, Desert Hearts, The New Gidget, Buffy the Vampire Slayer, and JAG.

Alison Arngrim

Alison Arngrim played Nellie Olsen. One of Arngrim’s early acting roles was in the 1974 film Throw Out the Anchor! After Little House on the Prairie, she made appearances in The Last Place on Earth, Life Interrupted, and Make the Yuletide Gay.

The rest of the ‘Little House on the Prairie’ cast

Many more actors were part of the Little House on the Prairie cast. Rachel and Sidney Greenbush played Carrie Ingalls, Matthew Labyorteaux played Albert Ingalls,Katherine MacGregor playedHarriet Oleson, Jonathan Gilbert played Willie Oleson, and Dabs Greer played Reverend Robert Alden.

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