The timeless television series “Little House on the Prairie” was the ideal of relaxing entertainment and won over the hearts of millions of viewers all over the globe.

The popular program, which aired from 1974 until 1983 and was based on the best-selling children’s books written by Laura Ingalls Wilder, portrays the everyday activities of the Ingalls family as they reside in Walnut Grove, Minnesota, in the 1800s.

Karen Grassle, who is now 79 years old and became an American treasure for her roles as the mother of the family, and Ma, as she is affectionately known by fans worldwide, continues to perform today.

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The character of Caroline Lake Quiner Ingalls may be the one for which she is best known; however, after portraying one of the most iconic American mothers in the history of television, she seemed to vanish from our screens.


The actress, born in California but raised in London, left our screens but did not abandon acting. Instead, she returned to her first love, Broadway, a passion that grew stronger while studying acting in London.

After completing her college education at the University of California, she moved to London to pursue further education at the illustrious Royal Academy of Dramatic Art.

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“That was one of the most exciting learning experiences of my life: the school was superb, and we could go to the theater in London and see the finest actors and productions in the English language,” Karen said.

After performing in some stage shows, she tried out for a character in a movie but was ultimately unsuccessful. She then went on to try out for “Little House on the Prairie,” where she was cast in one of the most iconic roles in the history of television when she was only 32 years old.

Although the show ended in 1983, Karen left in 1982, and while producers tried to continue with just the Ingalls children, “Little House on the Prairie” was eventually canceled.

Wikipedia Commons / NBC

After she departed, Karen, who celebrated her 79th birthday on February 25 this year, returned to her first love, Broadway. After performing on stage in Kentucky, Boston, and New York City, she moved on to establish her own theater company. Her first productions were in Kentucky, Boston, and New York City.

She returned to our screens in 1994 in the movie Wyatt Earp, starring Kevin Costner, after performing in stage classics such as “Cabaret” and “Driving Miss Daisy.”

A picture containing person, red Description automatically generatedJames Brunet‎ / Karen Grassle

She challenged herself by appearing in the horror movie Lasso when she was 75 years old, even though she initially had some qualms about doing so.

“Finally, my son tells me, “Oh, just do it, Mom. You’ll have fun! You’ll run screaming in the night!” So, I said, “Okay, I’ll do it.” It’s a total change for me,” she told

Karen Grassle is in talks to play a part in the upcoming movie Not to Forget, which tells the story of a Kentucky grandmother living with Alzheimer’s and her young grandson. The movie is scheduled to hit theaters at some point in 2021.



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