Melissa Sue Anderson (Actress) - Little House on the Prairie
Melissa Sue Anderson 1
Updated: 10/24/22

Name: Melissa Sue Anderson

Birth Name: Melissa Sue Anderson

Born: September 26, 1962 in Berkeley, California, USA

Nickname: Missy

Claim To Fame: Melissa Sue Anderson is an American-Canadian actress best known for her role as Mary Ingalls in the NBC drama series Little House on the Prairie (1974-1983), for which she received a nomination for the Primetime Emmy Award for Outstanding Lead Actress in a Drama Series.

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Family Life: In 1990, Anderson married television writer and producer Michael Sloan. The couple has two children, daughter Piper and son Griffin.

Info: Anderson is the second of two daughters, to James and Marion Anderson; her sister, Maureen, is twelve years her senior.

Her parents divorced when she was thirteen years old, and she was raised Roman Catholic by her mother.

The family moved to Montreal in 2002, and became naturalized Canadians on Canada Day in 2007.

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Trivia: Anderson's show business career began when a dance teacher urged her parents to find her an agent.

As a young child, Anderson appeared in commercials for Mattel and Sears.

Her first television appearance came in a 1972 episode of Bewitched titled "Tabitha's First Day of School".

Another memorable early role was as Millicent, a girl who kissed Bobby in an episode of The Brady Bunch titled "Never Too Young".

At the age of eleven, Anderson landed the role of Mary Ingalls in Little House on the Prairie.

She would go on to star in the series for eight seasons, beginning in 1974, and leaving after season seven; she later appeared in three episodes of season eight in late 1981.

To avoid confusion with Little House co-star Melissa Gilbert, Melissa Sue was tagged with the nickname "Missy," a name that has stuck to this day.

In 1976, Michael Landon asked Anderson if she would appear in his autobiographical film The Loneliest Runner. Anderson agreed to play Nancy Rizzi, the first girlfriend of John Curtis (based on Landon and played by Lance Kerwin), saying she was very thrilled to have been asked.

Was nominated for a 1978 Primetime Emmy Award for Best Leading Actress in a Drama Series for her work on Little House on the Prairie.

Won the Emmy Award for her performance in Which Mother Is Mine?, which aired as an ABC Afterschool Special in 1979.

In 1980, Anderson earned a 'TP de Oro' Award (considered to be Spain's most prestigious award for television) for 'Best Foreign Actress' for her role in Little House on the Prairie.

In 1981, she earned a Young Artist Award nomination for her performance in the Canadian slasher film Happy Birthday to Me.

In 1998, she was inducted into the Western Performers Hall of Fame at the National Cowboy & Western Heritage Museum in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma.

In 2010, Anderson released an autobiography titled The Way I See It: A Look Back at My Life on Little House. The book, which is primarily based on her life during her years as a child star in Little House on the Prairie, also covered her pre- and post-Little House career, and how her personal life was affected by her fame.

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Where Are They Now: Anderson hasn't acted in 4 years. Hopefully, there's a comeback in the works for her. With the popularity of Yellowstone, and all its spinoffs, could a Little House on the Prairie reboot come to be? It could happen!


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