Celebrity
“Little House on The Prairie” star finally speaks out about working with Michael Landon
Though the show was wholesome, the behind-the-scenes behavior of some of the cast members certainly was not.
Luis Gaskell
09.14.22

Everyone has a favorite show or film that means a lot to them. If you’re the fanatic type, you might even develop some deep liking for the cast.

But as we’ve learned from the past, the things that go on behind the scenes aren’t always perfect.

Remember Little House on the Prairie? Well, star Karen Grassle shared something about her co-star all these decades later.

YouTube screenshot - Inside Edition
Source:
YouTube screenshot - Inside Edition

The beloved 70’s TV show covered what country life was like. It didn’t shy away from some heavier themes either, like substance abuse or racial discrimination.

One of its executive producers was also one of its stars, Michael Landon.

Together, Landon and Grassle played the couple Charles and Caroline Quinner Ingalls, the matriarch and patriarch of the Ingalls family.

YouTube screenshot - Inside Edition
Source:
YouTube screenshot - Inside Edition

The books the show was adapting from were, after all, children’s books. You know, wholesome and mostly uncontroversial.

So one might expect nothing but wholesome relations between all the cast and crew.

But this wasn’t the case according to Karen Grassle, who played Caroline Quinner Ingalls.

She told it all in an interview 31 years after his death, and nearly 40 years after the show aired.

The now 80-year-old Grassle said Landon was not like the kind, loving husband he played on screen.

Sure, actors are rarely like their characters. But it’s fair to at least expect them to be nice.

And Landon wasn’t the nicest person, she says.

YouTube screenshot - Inside Edition
Source:
YouTube screenshot - Inside Edition

Grassle described Landon as being rather insensitive and sexist.

He would show up to set drunk and was very uncomfortable to work with.

This proved to be more difficult than just having a troublesome co-star. Landon was an executive producer of the show, so he was her boss too.

YouTube screenshot - Inside Edition
Source:
YouTube screenshot - Inside Edition

Grassle specifically touched on the scenes where the two shared a bed together and spoke at the end of the episodes.

According to her, those scenes were a “nightmare” to film.

Landon would make uncomfortable jokes about “the female anatomy” while in bed with Grassle.

YouTube screenshot - Inside Edition
Source:
YouTube screenshot - Inside Edition

The only people surrounding them were the production crew which consisted entirely of men.

So you can imagine how uncomfortable that must have been for Grassle. She says the term “sexual harassment” wasn’t coined or used widely then but implied that that’s what it was.

Aside from the already-uncomfortable setting he told the joke in, the fact that he was also her boss likely made it worse.

Landon passed away in 1991 from terminal pancreatic cancer.

YouTube screenshot - Inside Edition
Source:
YouTube screenshot - Inside Edition

Only decades later are we learning that he wasn’t quite as sweet as the character he played.

His life was a sad one. He dealt with a suicidal mother in his youth and a terminal illness in his last years.

One would hope that he at least changed in the last few years before his tragic death.

YouTube screenshot - Inside Edition
Source:
YouTube screenshot - Inside Edition

Difficult years might be a reason for someone’s behavior, but they aren’t an excuse.

Listen to Grassle tell the story in the video below.

Please SHARE this with your friends and family.

By Luis Gaskell
hi@sbly.com
Luis Gaskell is a contributor at SBLY Media.
Advertisement
Advertisement