Growing up, no show was on our television more than Little House on the Prairie. My mom loved following the story of the Ingalls family, who lived as farmers in a small town in Minnesota. The show took place in the 1870s and explored all sorts of important topics such as poverty, prejudice, and faith.
One of my favorite things about Little House on the Prairie was that it was a show the whole family could enjoy. Even though it took on serious subjects, there were plenty of laughs and fun moments that made it easy for people of any age to watch. If you’re a parent of young kids and want to show them a program you know will be appropriate, you definitely can’t go wrong with Little House on the Prairie.
It’s been over 30 years since the last episode aired, and since that time a lot of fascinating information has come to light about the making of the classic family show. I consider myself a pretty big fan and even I never knew most of these facts. Here are 10 things that you probably don’t know about Little House on the Prairie.
1. The actors who played Laura Ingalls and Willie Oleson are real-life brother and sister.
That’s right, Laura was played by Melissa Gilbert and Willie was played by her brother Jonathan.
2. The actresses who portrayed Laura and Mary had a tumultuous relationship off the screen.
Actresses Melissa Gilbert and Mellissa Anderson never really got along and to this day have never settled their differences.
3. The town of Walnut Grove exists in real life.
Walnut Grove is a real town in Minnesota and even has a museum dedicated to the show and books.
4. Nellie’s blonde hair was actually a wig
Nellie’s famous blonde locks weren’t the actress' real hair.
5. Melissa Gilbert was forced to bind her chest to hide her curves.
The producers thought the young actress was growing up a little too quickly, so they took to binding her chest to give her a more childish look.
6. The explosion of Walnut Grove was real.
In the final episode of the series, the residents blew up Walnut Grove after being forced out. Real dynamite was used to pull this off.
7. Sean Penn made his acting debut on the show.
Penn (middle) appeared in the episode “The Voice of Tinker Jones.” Coincidentally, Penn’s father was a director on the show.
8. When the family had dinner, they were usually eating KFC.
KFC and Dinty Moore brand stew were usually what the Ingalls family was eating when they sat down for dinner.
9. Pa Ingalls was wearing a wig.
Actor Michael Landon had gray hair, but the producers wanted to give him a more rugged look. As a result, the actor was forced to wear a wig in every episode.
10. Laura didn’t want to kiss her on-screen love interest.
Melissa was only 15 years old when she was supposed to kiss Maley. She was so nervous to do so that she asked for only a kiss on the cheek.
Be sure to SHARE these fun facts with your family and friends.
H/T: Aunty Acid