Hersha Parady (Alice Garvey) Exclusive Interview!
Hi Hersha! Thanks for taking the time to be interviewed about your
role as Alice Garvey on Little House On The Prairie.
1. Wow, It's been over 30 years now since Little House first aired on TV. What do you think of it's success after so many years? Would you have thought it would still be as popular today as it was many years ago?
The gifts Michael Landon had, and the friends and colleagues he brought with him from previous works made for a beautifully produced show - the best cast and guest artists, writers, all the crew.... Michael knew the buttons to push in his writing to move us without being maudlin or overly sentimental. Between all of that and David Rose's musical score, how could he miss?!
2. What was it like to be on Little House? Had you ever read the books by Laura Ingalls Wilder before getting the part of Alice Garvey?
No, never read the books. The only things I read as a young person were plays. Being on Little House, as I've said often, put my expectations a little high, when I later worked on other projects - I'd often find myself very unimpressed in comparison to Little House's high quality production values! I had good friends on Little House, some I had known before coming on the show, and being able to work with so many talented (and very, very GOOD people) was quite a ride for 3 years.
3. How did you get the role of Alice Garvey? Was it competitive?
I had worked as a guest artist in one episode, playing Michael's sister-in-law. They liked me and when they wanted to find a wife for Merlin Olsen, I got lucky! Merlin and I meshed together very naturally. Competition for the role? Oh, I'm sure there was plenty!.
4. Any found memories you wouldn't mind sharing about your experience?
No secret about Michael's legendary practical joking - so that definitely provided many memories! He'd kid me often about my being rather STRONG! And LOUD! Not your "Miss Beadle type"! I'd bust a few of the props I'd use and eat like I was HUNGRY - not like a lady of that period at a tea party! And of course, there was the "using Blind Mary Ingalls' baby as a battering ram" in my final episode, which has always provided a good laugh!
5. Who would you say on the set made the biggest impression on you personally?
On the set? Oh dear, that's a tuffy! I'd have to think on that one... there were guest actors that I loved to watch... working with Katherine MacGregor and Richard Bull was always a real treat, especially because they were good friends of mine. Also, Larry Germain, Whitey and Dabbs Greer were all very special to me.
6. What was it like to work with Merlin Olsen? Were you a fan or ever seen him play football before working with him on Little House?
Nope! Had no idea who he was before my reading with him for Alice. He's a lovely, good man - a real sweetheart.
7. Do you have a favorite episode?
I like bits and pieces from a couple of episodes, as far as my "work" goes. I think I enjoyed doing the last episode with the fire more than any of them, ironically - it was great fun playing with fire and getting to "act up a storm"!
8. What, if any, affect did your role as Alice Garvey have on your career over the years? Are you still associated with or recognized from being on the show?
I don't believe my role as Alice had any "good" effect on my future career - I think if I had had a small part on "Charlie's Angels" it would have meant more to the networks (even NBC) than my Little House gig. And YES - after all these years, I'm still recognized!
9. In the episode "May We Make Them Proud" the character of Alice Garvey is killed off. A lot of fans didn't like the way it was written and some call it one of Mike's dark episodes of the series. What are your feelings about it?
I've heard from many that the episode was not what they expected from Michael, but there were reasons why he had to kill me off. From my point of view, as I earlier mentioned, WHAT a way to go! To be honest, not sure I ever watched the episode, so I can't remember all that happened, but I'm sure Michael did it for a reason and did it beautifully.
10. Finally, How are things going for you these days? Any projects in the works?
"Things" are just great! I continue my work in the theatre, and plan a return to Hollywood ASAP!
Webmasters Note: Interview was done on January 30, 2006. Special Thanks to Barnaby Marriott for his assistance with this interview.