Little House on the Prairie NBC TV Cast Information
Melissa Sue Anderson graced the small screen as
Mary Ingalls in TV's beloved "Little House on the Prairie" for 8
years. Now all grown up, you can still catch this famous child star
at the movies and on TV.
Melissa Sue Anderson was born in Berkeley, California, September 26, 1962. A self-proclaimed "quiet, shy girl," she loved reading books, writing and spending quiet afternoons at home alone. On the advice of a dance teacher, Anderson's parents went in search of an agent for their talented daughter in the late 1960s. Told by the teacher that she had a natural beauty and talent, Anderson began auditioning for minor commercial roles in California. Within her first year, with several commercials under her belt, the cute blonde haired, blue-eyed beauty was in demand.
Bitten by the acting bug, Anderson began auditioning in Hollywood for small television roles. In 1973, she got her wish as she was cast as Millicent in an episode of "The Brady Bunch" entitled "Never Too Young." Now known professionally as "the girl who gave Bobby his first on-screen kiss," Anderson sought new roles, enjoying the ever increasing attention. The following year, she won a bit part in the movie "Shaft."
At 12 years old, Melissa auditioned for Michael Landon with the hope of winning a role on a new television series. Beating out hundreds of competitors, Anderson accepted an offer to play Mary Ingalls on Landon's "Little House on the Prairie," a role that would change her life and cast her into the spotlight forever. Filming began in 1974 and for the next 8 years, Anderson would literally grow up in front of the camera, playing a character she deemed " like myself." During summer breaks and over long holiday hiatuses, Anderson made guest appearances and took on other roles. Determined not to be typecast, she guest starred on the wildly popular television series, "The Love Boat," playing her first ever adult role.
As the popular series came to an end in 1980, 20 year old Anderson continued to enhance her resume, picking up bit parts in in shows like "The Equalizer, "Alfred Hitchcock Presents," and "Murder, She Wrote." She also auditioned for and won many title roles in television feature films, such as "The Loneliest Runner," and "Advice to the Lovelorn."
Today, Melissa Sue Anderson acts whenever she can. In 1998, she played a title role of Dr. Marilyn Blake in the television movie "Earthquake in New York," and she continues to audition and act on a regular basis. Anderson still lives in California and remains in close contact with several former cast members from "Little House on the Prairie."
In 2006, Melissa performed in 10.5: Apocalypse as First Lady Megan Hollister. Also in 2005, Melissa did a interview with VH-1 for the 100 Greatest Teen Stars of All time.
Recently, Melissa published her memoir "The Way I See It" where she wrote about her memories on Little House and life.
Click here to read our exclusive interview with Melissa.
Did you know?
Melissa Sue Anderson brought the Michael Landon movie "Where Pigeons Go To Die" to him? She also has a credit in this movie as Producer.