‘Little House on the Prairie’ Star Melissa Gilbert Said She Was the First To Know When Kathy Hilton Got Pregnant With Paris Hilton
Melissa Gilbert starred as Laura Ingalls on Little House on the Prairie from 1974 until 1983. During the show’s run, several storylines encouraged new actors to flaunt their talents. One of those young actors was Kim Richards.
In her memoir, Prairie Tale, Gilbert explained that Richards and her sister, Kathy Hilton, frequented the Little House on the Prairie set.
Kim Richards played ‘Olga Nordstrom’
Richards appeared on Little House on the Prairie in season 1. She played Olga Nordstrom, a young girl who had one leg that was shorter than the other. According to Laura’s Prairie House, Richards was only in one episode of the series. At the end of her appearance, Charles “Pa” Ingalls (Michael Landon) made Olga a “special shoe” so that she could run and play with the children of Walnut Grove.
Although she only booked one episode of Little House on the Prairie, Richards became known in the child actor realm. Melissa Sue Anderson, who played Laura Ingalls on Little House on the Prairie, recalled Richards taking one of her roles when they were younger. Anderson discussed working with Richards in her 2010 memoir, The Way I See It: A Look Back at My Life on Little House.
“Kim Richards had been a series regular on Nanny and the Professor,” Anderson recalled. “When I was unable to do the film Escape to Witch Mountain, it was she who was cast in my place. Kim was part of an acting family, and I would cross paths with them more in the future.”
Melissa Gilbert became close with the Richards family
Richards wasn’t the only one in her family who appeared on Little House on the Prairie. Her sister, Kyle Richards, landed a part on the show. When Kyle booked the role of Alicia Sanderson Edwards, she visited the set more often. Kyle worked on the series for 18 episodes and became close with Gilbert during filming. In Prairie Tale, Gilbert said having both Richards sisters on the show allowed her to become friends with the family. Their older sister, Kathy, also became friendly with Gilbert on-set.
“Kim was a well-known child actor who’d been on Nanny and the Professor, and while I hit it off with her, I also enjoyed her older sister, Kathy, who served as her on-set guardian and was young and fun,” Gilbert said.
Gilbert continued to say that her friendship with the Richards family continued as they got older. Although she became known for her parts in shows like Happy Days, Kathy’s notoriety grew in 1979. During that time, Kathy met and soon married Richard Hilton. Hilton’s family famously owns the Hilton hotel empire. When Kathy became pregnant with her and Richard’s first child, Gilbert was the first person she told.
“Kathy later moved to New York and married Rick Hilton,” Gilbert wrote. “We stayed in touch, and my mom and I were the first people to find out she was pregnant with her first child, Paris Hilton.”