‘Little House on the Prairie’: This Cast Member ‘Disliked’ Star Michael Landon ‘On Sight’

by Jeremy Spirogis
Karen Grassle and Michael Landon as Caroline and Charles Ingalls on

Fans of the 1970s and ’80s program Little House on the Prairie tuned in weekly to the basic drama that adopted the Ingalls household and their neighbors in 1870s Minnesota.

As a lot because the heartwarming sequence showcased the townspeople of Walnut Grove banding collectively as they grew collectively as a group, behind the scenes the love wasn’t as profound.

Karen Grassle and Michael Landon as Caroline and Charles Ingalls on 'Little House on the Prairie', 1974
Karen Grassle and Michael Landon as Caroline and Charles Ingalls on ‘Little House on the Prairie’, 1974 | NBCU Photo Bank

Michael Landon directed and starred in ‘Little House on the Prairie’

While he didn’t create Little House on the Prairie, Michael Landon did function the present’s director, star, and visionary for its 9 seasons. He ran a good ship on the present’s set, in response to actor Melissa Gilbert who performed Landon’s daughter Laura Ingalls on the sequence.

“Michael was a very powerful personality,” Gilbert informed the Archive of American Television in 2011. “He was a pressure to be reckoned with, and was a perfectionist, and knew what he wished. He knew how he wished to do it and nobody was going to cease him.

“[Michael] had the right vision, clearly. It’s one of the most successful shows in the history of television. And it’s all pretty much because of him.”

Melissa Gilbert, left, with Michael Landon in a scene from 'Little House on the Prairie', 1976Melissa Gilbert, left, with Michael Landon in a scene from 'Little House on the Prairie', 1976
Melissa Gilbert, left, with Michael Landon in a scene from ‘Little House on the Prairie’, 1976 | NBCU Photo Bank

The actor who wasn’t loopy about Landon

As far as first impressions go, forged member Katherine MacGregor, who performed Harriet Oleson on this system, reportedly was not impressed with Landon upon first assembly him.

Alison Arngrim performed Nellie Oleson, MacGregor’s “daughter” on the drama. She wrote in her 2011 memoir, Confessions of a Prairie Bitch: How I Survived Nellie Oleson and Learned to Love Being Hated of MacGregor’s aversion to Landon.

“[Landon was hard not to notice,” she wrote. “He didn’t walk. He strutted. He swaggered. Like a peacock. His aura annoyed some people in the cast. I remember Katherine MacGregor telling me she disliked him on sight when, at her audition, he strutted into the room. ‘Like a baby bantam rooster!,’ she howled.”

Michael Landon, 1978Michael Landon, 1978
Michael Landon, 1978 | Bruce Birmelin/NBCU Photo Bank

RELATED: ‘Little House On The Prairie’: What Is Melissa Gilbert’s Net Worth and What Is She Working On Now?

MacGregor’s dangerous behavior on set

While MacGregor had her opinion of Michael Landon, the remainder of the forged had their very own ideas about her. MacGregor was a stage and tv actor devoted to her craft who, in response to Arngrim, made certain everybody else on the present’s set was appearing out scenes as she felt they need to. Many within the forged welcomed her solutions.

“Some people didn’t mind,” Arngrim wrote. “Dean Butler, when he first started playing Almanzo, seemed to actively seek out her advice. Karen Grassle, Ma herself, even joined [Katherine] at the acting class she was attending.”

Katherine MacGregor in a 1979 scene from 'Little House on the Prairie'Katherine MacGregor in a 1979 scene from 'Little House on the Prairie'
Katherine MacGregor in a 1979 scene from ‘Little House on the Prairie’ | NBCU Photo Bank/NBCUniversal by way of Getty Images by way of Getty Images

The lady who made Harriet Oleson a hated family title was revered by her fellow forged mates. However, it was the persistent suggestions from her that made working along with her troublesome, Arngrim recalled.

“Katherine’s advice wasn’t bad, it was just constant and unsolicited,” she stated. “I sometimes took it, but many times I had already decided what I wanted to do. When I would protest and try to explain this to her, she would shout, ‘He’s only the director! What the hell does he know?!’”

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