Some shows don’t stand the test of time, but Little House on the Prairie was (and still is) one of the most beloved shows to hit the silver screen. Based on Laura Ingalls Wilder’s Little House on the Prairie series, the show followed the Ingalls family on their farm in Minnesota.
The show ran from 1974 to 1983 with nine total seasons, although the ninth season was also rebranded as Little House: A New Beginning. It takes place 100 years earlier, so it’s a period piece that remained relevant through its family relationships, religion, alcoholism, and other controversial issues.
Michael Landon (Charles Ingalls)
After Little House of the Prairie, Michael Landon starred in Highway to Heaven, and his last television role was as Jeff Hayes in Us in 1991. He passed away later that year in July at just 54 years old after he was diagnosed with an aggressive form of pancreatic cancer. He married three times and had nine kids.
Karen Grassle (Caroline Ingalls)
The matriarch of LHOTP, Karen moved to Santa Fe after starring in the show and became the co-founder and artistic director of Santa Fe’s Resource Theater Company. She later moved to Louisville to focus on performing in live theater, although her most recent film role was in Not to Forget in 2021. As of then, she was living in the San Francisco Bay Area with her son, Zach Radford.
Melissa Gilbert (Laura Ingalls Wilder)
Melissa Gilbert played the main role in LHOTP as one of her first roles, but she went on to have an illustrious television and film career. Her most recent film role was in 2019 as Ruby in When We Last Spoke. She now lives in the Catskills with her fiancé, Timothy Busfield.
Melissa Sue Anderson (Mary Ingalls)
Melissa may have played the eldest of the Ingalls children, but she was still just 11 years old when she landed the role, which spanned her entire teenage years. During that time, her co-star Michael Landon asked her to appear in his semi-autobiographical film, The Loneliest Runner. Her most recent role was in 2018 as Guest Two in The Con Is On, but she mostly retired from acting in 2007. She now lives in Montreal with her husband, Michael Sloan, and their two children, Piper and Griffin.
Lindsay and Sidney Greenbush (Carrie Ingalls)
Lindsey and Sidney Greenbush were essentially the original Mary-Kate and Ashley. They alternated playing Carrie, the youngest of the Ingalls family. After the show ended, they did a few commercials, but decided to retire and graduated from Santa Monica High School in 1988. Sidney married horse breeder William "Rocky" Foster, who died nine years later in 2009, and Lindsey has been married to Daniel Sanchez since 2014.
Matthew Labyorteaux (Charles Ingalls/Albert Quinn Ingalls)
Matthew portrayed young Charles Ingalls, as well as the Ingalls' adopted son, Albert, in later seasons of the show. After the show, his biggest role was in Wes Craven's Deadly Friends. Most recently, he's done voice work for Next Gen and Yu-Gi-Oh games and films. He married his wife, Leslie, in 2020, and is the stepfather to her two children.
Richard Bull (Nels Oleson)
Richard made over 100 appearances in television and film, but he was most famous for his role in LHOTP. His final appearance was in 2011's Boss as Elderly Farmer before he passed away in 2014 of pneumonia at 89 years old.
Katherine MacGregor (Harriet Oleson)
After playing Harriet on LHOTP, Katherine retired from screen acting and did local theater, teaching acting to children at the Wee Hollywood Vedanta Players. She converted to Hinduism while recovering from alcoholism before she died in 2018 at almost 94 years old.
Alison Arngrim (Nellie Oleson)
Alison grew to prominence thanks to her role in LHOTP, but she went on to guest star in The Love Boat and Fantasy Island. Her latest film role was in 2021's Even in Dreams as Debra, but she's built up a stage career in France and more recently, in Pinehurst, North Carolina. She works with various non-profit organizations and has spoken out about her experience with incest abuse.
Jonathan Gilbert (Willie Oleson)
Jonathan was known as Willie on-screen, but off-screen, he was Melissa Gilbert's adopted brother, although they had no relationship after he moved away from California in his early 20s. He didn't act at all after the series and its spinoffs, and as far as we know, he's a stockbroker living in New York City.
Victor French (Mr. Edwards)
Victor played "the wildcat from Tennessee," and he later co-starred with Michael Landon in Highway to Heaven, which was his last role before his death in June 1989 at 54 years old after a lung cancer diagnosis. He was survived by his first wife, Judith, and three children, Victor Edwin Jr., Kelly, and Tracy.
Kevin Hagen (Dr. Hiram Baker)
After playing the overworked Doc on LHOTP, Kevin went on to act in a few bit roles. His last role before his death was as a cop in 1990's The Ambulance. He was diagnosed with esophageal cancer in 2004, which caused his death in 2005. He was survived by his son, Kristopher, and his wife, Jan.
Dabbs Greer (Rev. Robert Alden)
Every little town needs its reverend, and Dabbs brought him to life. He was often cast as a minister, so he performed on-screen marriages on The Dick Van Dyke Show and The Brady Bunch. He also famously played the 108-year-old version of Tom Hanks's character in 1999's The Green Mile. His last performance was a 2003 episode of Lizzie McGuire as Moe. He passed away in 2007 after a battle with kidney failure and heart disease, just after he turned 90 years old.