Monday, February 7, 2011

Melissa Sue Anderson who played Mary Ingalls on The Little House on the Prairie

Melissa Sue Anderson was born September 26, 1962 in Berkeley, California.  She is most memorable for playing the role of Mary Ingalls on the TV show The Little House on the Prairie.


Melissa Sue Anderson who played Mary Ingalls in the TV show Little House on the Prairie

Anderson's acting career emerged from a dancing career when she was young.  Her talents were noticed and soon she was appearing in TV commercials. Shortly after she began making guest appearances on shows. Her first appearance was in a 1972 episode of Bewitched starring Elizabeth Montgomery, Dick York, Dick Sargent, and Agnes Moorehead.  Although, Bewitched was her first, her most memorable early appearance was in 1973 playing Bobby Bradys' first girlfriend Millicent in The Brady Bunch starring Robert Reed, Florence Henderson, Ann B. Davis, Maureen McCormick, Barry Williams, Eve Plumb, Christopher Knight, Susan Olsen, and Mike Lookinland.  Anderson also appeared in an episode of Shaft starring Richard Roundtree, Eddie Barth and Judie Stein.


It was the next year in 1974 when Anderson would land the role of Mary Ingalls in the TV show Little House on the Prairie.  She co-starred with Melissa Sue Gilbert (Laura Ingalls), Michael Landon (Charles Ingalls), Karen Grassle (Caroline Ingalls), Melissa Sue Anderson (Mary Ingalls), Lindsay and Sidney Greenbush (Carrie Ingalls), Alison Arngrim (Nellie Oleson), Jonathan Gilbert (Willie Olsen), Victor French (Isaiah Edwards), and Merlin Olsen (Jonathan Garvey).  Anderson would play the role of Mary until 1982 when she decided to leave the show.



Melissa Sue Anderson in the early years of Little House on the Prairie
The cast of  Little House on the Prairie. Front: Melissa Sue Anderson (Mary Ingalls), Karen Grassle (Caroline Ingalls), Melissa Sue Gilbert (Laura Ingalls) Back: Michael Landon (Charles Ingalls), Lindsay or Sidney Greenbush (Carrie Ingalls)
Melissa Sue Gilbert (Laura Ingalls) and Melissa Sue Anderson (Mary Ingalls) in the early years of Little House on the Prairie

During her run on "Little House", Anderson would also star in The Loneliest Runner co-starring Lance Kerwin, Brian Keith, Michael Landon, DeAnn Mears, and Rafer Johnson; James at 16 starring Lance Kerwin, Linden Chiles, Kim Richards, Lynn Carlin,  Susan Myers, and David Raynr;  Circus, Lions, Tigers and Melissas Too with Melissa Gilbert (1977); Survival of Dana co-starring Robert Carradine, Judge Reinhold, Marion Ross, Michael Pataki, Dan Spector, and Barbara Babcock (1979); A New Kind of Family starring Eileen Brennan, Lauri Hendler, Rob Lowe, and David Hollander (1979); Little House Years co-starring the regular show cast (1979); Fantasy Island starring Ricardo Montalban, Hervé Villechaize (1980); Insight starring Ellwood Kieser, Efrem Zimbalist Jr. and Brian Keith (1980); Midnight Offerings co-starring Mary Beth McDonough, Marion Ross, Patrick Cassidy, Gordon Jump, and Kym Karath (1981); Happy Birthday to Me co-starring Glenn Ford, Sharon Acker, Frances Hyland, Tracey E. Bregman, Matt Craven, Lenore Zann, David Eisner, Lisa Langlois, and Lawrence Dane (1981); Advice to the Lovelorn co-starring Cloris Leachman, Kelly Bishop, Desi Arnaz Jr., Tina Louise, Walter Brooke, Donna Pescow, and Lance Kerwin (1981); and 3 episodes of 
The Love Boat starring  Gavin MacLeod, Lauren Tewes, Bernie Kopell, Fred Grandy, Jill Whelan, and Ted Lange (1978-1980).


Melissa Sue Anderson as Mary Ingalls of Little House on the Prairie

Melissa Sue Anderson then
Melissa Sue Anderson in Happy Birthday to Me
Melissa Sue Anderson in The Love Boat

After Little House on the Prairie, Anderson would go on to star in An Innocent Love co-starring Doug McKeon and Steven Bauer (1982); voice acting on Spider-Man and His Amazing Friends with Dan Gilvezan, Kathy Garver (1983); First Affair co-starring  Loretta Swit, Amanda Bearse, Joel Higgins, Kim Delaney, Robin Morse, and Charley Lang (1983); Goma-2 with Margaux Hemingway, Lee Van Cleef, Ana Obregón, Willie Aames, Jorge Rivero, and Aldo Sambrell (1984);



Melissa Sue Anderson in 1982


Melissa would go on to star in Chattanooga Choo Choo with Barbara Eden, George Kennedy, Joe Namath, Bridget Hanley, and Christopher McDonald (1984); Finder of Lost Loves starring Anthony Franciosa, Deborah Adair, Anne Jeffreys, and Richard Kantor (1984); Murder, She Wrote starring Angela Lansbury, William Windom, and Ron Masak (1984); Glitter starring David Birney, Morgan Brittany, Arte Johnson, Arthur Hill, Christopher Mayer, Tracy Nelson, Timothy Patrick Murphy, and Barbara Sharma (1984); and Hotel starring James Brolin, Connie Sellecca and Shari Belafonte (2 episodes, 1984-85).


Melissa Sue Anderson then

Melissa Sue Anderson in the mid 1980s

Melissa Sue Anderson in the late 1980s

In the later half of the 1980s, Melissa Sue Anderson starred in 3 episodes of 
The Love Boat starring  Gavin MacLeod, Lauren Tewes, Bernie Kopell, Fred Grandy, Jill Whelan, and Ted Lange (1986); Dark Mansions co-starring Joan Fontaine, Michael York, Paul Shenar, Steve Inwood, Nicollette Sheridan, and Linda Purl (1986); The Equalizer starring Edward Woodward, Keith Szarabajka, and Robert Lansing (4 episodes, 1987-1988); 


Melissa Sue Anderson
Melissa Sue Anderson circa late 1980s

Melissa Sue Anderson


Anderson would go on to star in The Suicide Club with Mariel Hemingway, Robert Joy, Madeleine Potter, Lenny Henry, Michael O'Donoghue, and Anne Carlisle (1988); Far North co-starring Jessica Lange, Charles Durning, Donald Moffat, Tess Harper, Ann Wedgeworth, and Patricia Arquette (1988); Alfred Hitchcock Presents (2 episodes, 1988-89); Looking Your Best co-starring Michael Westmore and Don Silverman (1989); and The Return of Sam McCloud co-starring Dennis Weaver, J.D. Cannon, Patrick Macnee, Terry Carter, Diana Muldaur, and Kerrie Keane (1989).


Melissa Sue Anderson in The Love Boat

Anderson began the 1990s starring in Manuel with Francisco Rabal, Nuno Da Costa and Luiz Saraiva (1990); Dead Men Don't Die co-starring Elliott Gould, Mark Moses, Philip Bruns, and Mabel King (1990); Burke's Law starring Gene Barry, Peter Barton and Dom DeLuise (1994); and the voice of Snowbird in the animated series X-Men (2 episodes, 1993-94).


Melissa Sue Anderson circa mid 1990s

Melissa would finish out the 1990s starring in Killer Lady co-starring Sylvia Chang and Mariel Hemingway (1995); Earthquake in New York co-starring Greg Evigan, Cynthia Gibb, Michael Moriarty, Götz Otto, Bryn McAuley, and Vanessa Lee Evigan (1998);  and Partners (1999).


Melissa Sue Anderson circa 2000


Melissa Sue Anderson in 2001

Melissa Anderson would start off in the new millennium starring in Thin Ice co-starring Nicholas Lyndhurst, Tim Dantay and Raquel Cassidy (2000); 100 Greatest Teen Stars (2006); 10.5: Apocalypse co-starring Kim Delaney, Dean Cain, Oliver Hudson, David Cubitt, Garcelle Beauvais, and Carly Pope (2006); Crazy Eights co-starring Traci Lords, Frank Whaley, George Newbern, Dina Meyer, Dan DeLuca, Gabrielle Anwar, and Christine Eads (2006); and her last known role was in  Marco Polo co-starring Ian Somerhalder, B.D. Wong, Brian Dennehy, and Desiree Ann Siahaan (2007).


Melissa Sue Anderson in 2005



Melissa Sue Anderson as First Lady Megan Hollister in the film 10.5 Apocalypse 2006
Beau Bridges and Melissa Sue Anderson in the film 10.5 Apocalypse 2006

Melissa now lives in Montreal, Canada with her husband Michael Sloan and their son.



Melissa Sue Anderson today




8 comments:

  1. I have enjoyed watching Melissa on Little House On The Prairie and all the other co actors. They were all a joy to watch and I look forward to watching all the reruns daily.

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  2. I was so surprised that she lives in Montreal I watch the show all the time all the reruns I have the whole serious

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  3. I love to watch the replays the series Little House On The Prairie. Michael London, Karen Grassele, Melissa Gilbert, Melissa Sue Anderson and Lindsay Sidney Greenbush.

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  4. I love to watch the replays the series Little House On The Prairie. Michael London, Karen Grassele, Melissa Gilbert, Melissa Sue Anderson and Lindsay Sidney Greenbush.

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  5. its amazing watching the little house on the prairie was my favourite programme as a bot and now at the age of 50 I love even more thank you for making my early sunday mornings joyful

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  6. Always wanted to bag a blind babe, surely her acting ability would do, or so I've always imagined.

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  7. While watching Melissa Sue Anderson on Little House, he always had a lot of heart, a very compassionate actress who freely showed her emotions in a very touching way, especially in certain episodes that I can recall, one of which was with the actor Todd Bridges. When she became blind, there too she gave an acting performance that brought tears to my eyes, I will always appreciate her because as stated, she has heart, and her heart was revealed in her acting. God Bless!

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