Wendi and Brenda Turnbaugh (Baby Grace Ingalls) Exclusive Interview!
Wendi and Brenda! Thanks for letting PrairieFans.com interview you
about your role as baby Grace on Little House on the Prairie.
1. Wendi and Brenda, Wow, It's been 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?
Little House is as successful as any show could be. There seems to be a resurgence of Little House fans everywhere. This is probably due to the fact that there is a lack of quality family shows on the air today.
2. Today, we have a lot of children who want to become actresses and actors. How did you get started and what type of advice could you give to future child stars?
We got started by a longshot and after Little House never really pursued acting seriously. Our advice to young people… whatever you do don’t ever let acting become more important than what really matters in life… family, morals and who you really are.
3. Being twins, are you both different? Do you have anything in common?
Of course we’re different but we have so many things in common. First of all we get mixed up all the time. We have many of the same hobbies: volleyball, scrap booking and spending time together – we call that “twinner time.”
4. How did you both get cast as baby Grace Ingalls?
Through a friendship between Kent and Sue McCray and our grandparents. We went in to meet Michael and he gave us the thumbs up. It was as simple as that. We believe it wasn’t a coincidence but part of God’s plan for us.
5. What was it like to be on Little House? Any found memories you both wouldn't mind sharing about your experience?
Since we were only four our memories are limited but those that we have are wonderful. We were spoiled with attention, gifts and fun experiences; like limo rides and lunch in the big red barn. Our fondest memory would be the episode “Christmas to . We fought over who got which part. Wendi ended up sleeping on Ma’s lap and Brenda won out with the candy cane and present opening. Wendi still won’t let Brenda forget that she stole all the good parts.
6. Who would you say on the Little House set made the biggest impression on you personally?
Our memories are so limited, but Ma (Karen Grassle) and Pa (Michael Landon) probably made the biggest impression on us.
7. Since there were so many Little House episodes, did it ever feel as though you both were a part of two REAL families?
Again, as four year olds, this is hard to determine, but we did refer to Little House as “going to work” so it was a big part of our life and our extension family was great to be part of.
8. Do you both have a favorite episode? and why is it your favorite?
Brenda: My favorite episode is the show when Laura and Almanzo’s house gets destroyed by the tornado and I had an integral part to play (not just be cute). The director told me to run our into the field and not to look back, but keep running. I remember being very nervous but I did it on the first try.
Wendi: My favorite episode is “Dance with Me” This show is with Ray Bolger who plays Tobey Noe trying to pick up on the town’s spinster. When he has been rejected by her, he has a heart to heart talk with Baby Grace in her high chair.
9. What, if any, affect did your role as Grace Ingalls have on your career over the years? Are you still associated with or recognized from being on the show?
Baby Grace has had no affect on our current careers, but it is always a fun memory to look back on and talk with people about.
10. Finally, How are things going for you these days? Any projects in the works?
These days, we are both mothers in the middle of toddlerhood and to be perfectly honest acting is the furthest thing from our minds. However, we both have done a little speaking on “Memories of Grace” for community groups or churches.
For more information on Wendi and Brenda visit their Official Web site at www.wendiandbrenda.com.
Webmasters Note: Interview was done on April 5, 2006.