Where is Melissa Sue Anderson Now?

The Story of a Talented Actress and Her Life After Little House on the Prairie

Little House on the Prairie is a beloved drama series that captivated an entire generation of TV viewers. With its endearing characters and heartfelt performances, it’s no wonder that fans often wonder, “Where are they now?” One of the performers who left show business behind is Melissa Sue Anderson, who portrayed Mary Ingalls on the show. Recently, she opened up about her decision to step away from Hollywood and the spotlight.

Melissa Sue Anderson was born on September 26, 1962, in Berkeley, California. As a child, she was introverted and preferred books over climbing trees. However, her stage presence and striking blue eyes caught the attention of those around her. Encouraged by one of her dance instructors, Melissa’s parents consulted with an agency, and thus began her acting career as a child actress. She had notable appearances on The Brady Bunch and Bewitched, where she even gave Bobby his first kiss. However, it was her role as Mary Ingalls on Little House on the Prairie that propelled her to fame and became her defining role.

Despite the success, Melissa acknowledges that Mary Ingalls was not a prominent character in the original Little House novels written by Laura Ingalls, upon which the series was based. “I’m lucky that there even was a character to play,” Melissa shared from her home in Montreal. “Laura was an older woman when she wrote the books, reminiscing about the best parts of her life. The characters of Ma and Mary didn’t have a significant presence. I’m fortunate that they discovered I could act.” Melissa’s portrayal of Mary Ingalls earned her critical acclaim, including a nomination for Best Lead Actress in a Drama Series.

However, fame wasn’t easy for a young actress still in high school. Dealing with curious classmates and inappropriate questions about her earnings was embarrassing. Melissa responded with a look that let them know it was none of their business. Contrary to popular belief, actors didn’t always make a lot of money, especially during her time on Little House. A significant portion of her earnings went into trust funds, agent fees, and supporting her fan club. Melissa’s dedication to her fans cost her a lot, but it was a choice she made willingly.

What made Little House on the Prairie truly special was the chemistry between the cast, which made viewers believe they were a real family. Off-screen, the actors spent a lot of time together, although they didn’t always get along. Melissa Gilbert, who played Laura Ingalls, once shared her true feelings about Melissa Sue Anderson: “She is hateful, horrid, mean, terrible, difficult. She hated me. She knocked me off the wagon when I was nine.” Despite any conflicts, the show created lifelong bonds and launched the careers of many of its cast members, including Melissa Gilbert and Michael Landon.

After Little House on the Prairie concluded, Melissa Sue Anderson appeared in television movies like Which Mother is Mine? and Survival of Dana. However, like many child actors, she struggled to find another job that matched the level of notoriety she achieved on Little House. In the 1980s, Melissa briefly dated Frank Sinatra Jr., whom she first met as a guest on The Love Boat. Although rumors of a romance swirled, Melissa clarified that they were just close friends. Eventually, Melissa found love with television producer Michael Sloan, and together they have a son named Griffin and a daughter named Piper. The family made the decision to become Canadian citizens and relocated to Montreal in 2002.

Melissa Sue Anderson took a significant break from the entertainment industry to focus on raising her children and allow them to develop their own identities. She wanted to shield them from the pressure of following in her footsteps as child stars. However, Melissa has recently returned to acting, taking on smaller TV and film roles. She has even written a memoir, The Way I See It: A Look Back at My Life on Little House, reflecting on her time on the iconic television series.

Now in her sixties, Melissa Sue Anderson still has a youthful appearance and a beautiful soul. She values authenticity over glossiness and plasticity in the world of acting. Despite stepping away from the limelight for a time, Melissa’s fans can be relieved to know that she is doing well and enjoying her life. Share this story with all the Little House on the Prairie fans in your life, and let them know that our beloved Mary Ingalls is thriving and happy!