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Little House on the Prairie made household names of several child actors including Melissa Sue Anderson and Melissa Gilbert. Based on the books by Laura Ingalls Wilder, the historical drama set in the 1800s featured some young thespians who would later find fame via reality TV.

Melissa Sue Anderson of 'Little House on the Prairie'
Melissa Sue Anderson of ‘Little House on the Prairie’ | Wynn Hammer/NBCU Photo Bank

‘RHOBH’ star Kyle Richards played Alicia Edwards on ‘Little House’

Cast as the adopted daughter of Isaiah (Victor French) and Grace Edwards (Bonnie Bartlett), Kyle Richards of Real Housewives of Beverly Hills fame portrayed Alicia Sanderson Edwards in 18 episodes of Little House on the Prairie. Anderson recalled working with the reality star.

“She was absolutely adorable back then,” Anderson wrote in her 2010 memoir, The Way I See It: A Look Back at My Life on Little House. “We all loved to spoil her. I’ve run into her a couple of times over the years, and we both had children at the same French school in Los Angeles for a time.”

Pointing out an unlikely connection, Anderson noted Little House’s link to another famous name through Richards’ family tree.

“Kyle and Kim [Richards] are aunts of Paris Hilton,” the Emmy-nominated actor shared. “Their sister, Kathy, is Paris’s mother. It’s strange to think of Paris Hilton and Little House being related in any way!”

Kim Richards appeared in season 1

Anderson knew RHOBH alum Kim Richards prior to her guest appearance in Little House’s first season for the episode “Town Party, Country Party”. According to her book, Anderson wasn’t able to take on a certain part for a film which ended up being given to Richards.

“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 m place. Kim was part of an acting family, and I would cross paths with them more in the future.”

The Little House star considered Richards a welcomed addition for the episode, knowing her professional work ethic.

“It was nice to see Kim and her mom again,” Anderson remarked. “In the past, I had often seen Kim at interviews, where we might be auditioning to play sisters or sometimes even for the same role. She was a pro; she’d certainly had years of experience.”

Melissa Sue Anderson and ‘RHOBH’ star should’ve taken off their mics

Anderson described a scene with Richards where the two were required to walk up a hill several times for a ‘walk and talk’ scene. With mics hidden under their clothes, the two girls were providing footage for a ‘guide track’ that would later be looped or replaced with identical dialogue.

“So, Kim and I were walking back up that hill (for the umpteenth time) to try one last rehearsal,” Anderson explained. “This director was giving Kim a very hard time. He seemed to pick apart everything she did. … Kim started to mutter, ‘Gosh, does he think this is the first time I’ve ever done this?’ ‘I can’t believe he wants me to say it like that,’ and ‘How do you deal with this guy?'”

The Little House alum told Richards it was this director’s first time at the helm of the show. When the scene was finally approved, the two young actors noticed something that gave them a bit of a panic.


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“We saw the headphones that our director was removing from his head,” Anderson revealed. “Oh no, I thought, He must have heard everything she said about him because our microphones were on. … That was a lesson I would never forget. If you need to say something you don’t want the world to hear, switch off your radio mic.”

Fortunately for Anderson and Richards, the director didn’t finish the episode and they were never reprimanded over the incident.