‘Little House On The Prairie’ – Secrets The Producers Kept From Fans

The Little House on the Prairie warmed the hearts of the nation with both the book and TV series.

The show debuted in 1974 and despite it ending over 30 years ago, it’s still much loved to this day by a wide range of audiences.

Whilst you may think you know everything about the TV drama, there are some behind the scenes secrets that the cast and producers tried to keep from fans.

 

1. Alison Arngrim’s Broken Arm Was Real In The ‘Bunny’ Scene

Alison had a real cast on in the episode after having a skateboarding accident in real life and breaking her wrist.

2. Heavy Beer Drinkers

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Both the camera and off-screen crew were known to get through two cases of Coors a day whilst filming.

3. Alison Arngim Almost Passed Out On Set

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The actress, who played Nellie Oleson, passed out on set once due to the extreme heat. The women wore 1800 style dresses and costumes including petticoats, bonnets and stockings. The temperatures would rise to as high as 100 at the California set causing Alison to faint.

4. Michael Landon Wasn’t Afraid To Show Off His Body

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Michael, or Charles Ingalls as we knew him on the show, was more than happy to do the shirtless scenes. He also reportedly used to wear no underwear under those extremely tight trousers.

5. Melissa Gilbert Was Only 15 Years-Old When She Had To Kiss Co-Star Dean Butler

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Melissa played the part of Laura Ingalls in the hit show who married Almanzo Wilder (Dean Butler) – but she was just 15-years old at the time. She was extremely nervous when it came to the kissing scene, with it only being her third ever kiss! After the scene she asked producers if the affection between the characters could be kept to mainly hugs and kisses on the cheek.

6. Alison Arngrim & Steve Tracy Would Make Out On Purpose To Gross Melissa Gilbert Out

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The young teen actress would hate seeing the older actors openly kiss on set, so the pair would do it even more to wind her up.

7. Rachel And Sidney Bush Were Only 3-Years Old When They Played Carrie Ingalls

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The identical twins played the role of Carrie perfectly. Due to the law, the director had to swap the twins around every three hours to give them a rest, calling for a ‘fresh’ twin before scenes.

8. Carrie’s Fall In The Opening Credits Wasn’t Supposed To Happen

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The twin who played Carrie Ingalls trips and falls during the opening credits whilst running down a hill – but it was actually an accident. The director thought it shown the toddler in a cute light so kept it in.

9. The Food Was Dirty Moore Beef Stew

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In any of the scenes where the family are having dinner, the food was actually just dirty moore beef stew. For all but one occasion when Ma cooked fried chicken, which of course was KFC.

10. Melissa Gilbert Ended Her Friendship With Michael Landon After His Divorce

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The actress became close with Landon’s real-life wife and kids whilst filming the series. The actor’s affair with the make up artist became public, causing Melissa to distance herself from him and remain loyal to his wife.

11. Landon Wore Four Inch Lifts Inside His Boots

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The actor didn’t want anyone else to rise above him on set and wanted to appear taller. He can thank his special boots for the swagger he had on screen.

12. The Simi Valley Ranch Set Was Contaminated With Radioactive Waste

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It was reported that the set at the Big Sky Ranch was used for people to dispose of radioactive materials – was this to blame for the high cancer rates in the cast and crew?

13. Nellie Oleson & Laura Ingalls Were BFFs

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They were enemies on-screen, but in real life actresses Melissa and Alison were the best of friends and often had sleepovers.

14. Sean Penn Got His Breakthrough Role On The Show

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Penn was just 13-years old when he made his debut on the Little House on the Prairie. He appeared in the episode ‘The Voice of Tinker Jones’ being cast by his dad.

15. Landon Dyed His Hair For The Role

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Michael Landon took to the hair dye for his role as Charles. The actor went grey in his early 20s so starting dying it early on. He let the professionals step in and help with his hair colour in the Little House on the Prairie. It was said it would turn to a lavender colour after being in the California sun.

16. Michael Landon Asked Karen Grassle To Change Her Name

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When the actress auditioned, Landon asked Karen to change her name back to Karen Grassle. She was going under her stage name Gabriel Tree at the time.

17. Melissa Sue Anderson’s Mom Was Overprotective On Set

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Melissa’s mother was worried about her whilst she was filming, causing the young actress to not really make any friends on set. She played the part of Mary Ingalls.

18. People Didn’t Believe Melissa Gilbert & Dean Butler Had Believable Chemistry

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Melissa’s awkwardness made the chemistry between the on-screen couple unbelievable with the stars often being told to make more effort.

19. Nellie Achieved Her Curls Through An Old Fashioned Curling Iron

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The old fashion curling irons were used to ‘torturously’ style Alison’s hair and give her character Nellie the curls she needed.

20. But They Soon Changed It To A Wig

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They wanted to give Alison the perfect curls so swapped the iron for a wig. This actually made the actress’s scalp bleed as it held on with metal combs and pins.

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After Joining Marines Farm Kid Writes Letter Home

A young farm kid wrote home after joining the marines with this hilarious letter. A version of this has been floating around the web for a while, but a reader recently submitted this slightly altered version, and it’s a great read.

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Dear Ma and Pa:

I am well. Hope you are. Tell Brother Walt and Brother Elmer the Marine Corps beats working for old man Minch by a mile. Tell them to join up quick before all of the places are filled.

I was restless at first because you get to stay in bed till nearly 6 a.m. But I am getting used to it, so I like to sleep late. Tell Walt and Elmer all you do before breakfast is smooth your cot, and shine some things. No hogs to slop, feed to pitch, mash to mix, wood to split, fire to lay. Practically nothing.

Men got to shave but it is not so bad, there’s warm water. Breakfast is strong on trimmings like fruit juice, cereal, eggs, bacon, etc., but kind of weak on chops, potatoes, ham, steak, fried eggplant, pie and other regular food, but tell Walt and Elmer you can always sit by the two city boys that live on coffee. Their food, plus yours, holds you until noon when you get fed again. It’s no wonder these city boys can’t walk much.

We go on “route marches,” which the platoon sergeant says are long walks to harden us. If he thinks so, it’s not my place to tell him different. A “route march” is about as far as to our mailbox at home. Then the city guys get sore feet and we all ride back in trucks.

The sergeant is like a school teacher. He nags a lot. The Captain is like the school board. Majors and colonels just ride around and frown. They don’t bother you none.

This next will kill Walt and Elmer with laughing. I keep getting medals for shooting. I don’t know why. The bulls-eye is near as big as a chipmunk head and don’t move, and it ain’t shooting at you like the Higgett boys at home. All you got to do is lie there all comfortable and hit it. You don’t even load your own cartridges. They come in boxes.

Then we have what they call hand-to-hand combat training. You get to wrestle with them city boys. I have to be real careful though, they break real easy. It ain’t like fighting with that ole bull at home. I’m about the best they got in this except for that Tug Jordan from over in Silver Lake . I only beat him once. He joined up the same time as me, but I’m only 5’6″ and 130 pounds and he’s 6’8″ and near 300 pounds dry.

Be sure to tell Walt and Elmer to hurry and join before other fellers get onto this setup and come stampeding in.

Your loving daughter,

Alice

Boom! Marine, farm kid, and a young girl? Doesn’t get much tougher than that.

 

Source: thedailyheadline