|Born||Karen Trust Grassle
February 25, 1942
Berkeley, California, U.S.
|Notable work(s)||Caroline Ingalls in Little House on the Prairie|
Karen Trust Grassle (born February 25, 1942 in Berkeley, California) is an American actress, best known for her role as Caroline Ingalls, the wife of Michael Landon's character and the mother of Melissa Gilbert's character, in the NBC television drama series Little House on the Prairie.
Grassle graduated from Ventura High School in 1959, and afterward enrolled in Sophie Newcomb College (Tulane University, 1959–60) and then the University of California, Berkeley. She graduated with two BA degrees in 1965, one in English, the other in Dramatic Art. She received a scholarship to the Royal Academy of Dramatic Art in London.
Grassle's first acting job in New York City was in the short-lived 1968 play The Gingham Dog. Grassle played in Butterflies are Free at the Elitch Theatre in Denver, Colorado, in June 1972, along with Maureen O'Sullivan and Brandon deWilde, who was killed before leaving town after the performances ended.
Prior to portraying Caroline Ingalls, Grassle appeared in two TV series: one episode of the soap opera Love of Life as Bonnie Draper, and one episode of Gunsmoke entitled "The Wiving" as Fran, one of several saloon girls kidnapped a'la Seven Brides for Seven Brothers.
Grassle auditioned for the role of the mother, Caroline Ingalls, in the Little House on the Prairie TV series and won the part. The series ran for nine seasons, from 1974 to 1983.
After the series ended, she moved to Santa Fe, New Mexico and became co-founder of Santa Fe’s Resource Theater Company. Later she moved to Louisville, Kentucky, where she remained active in theater. Eventually, she moved back to California, where she still currently lives.
In 2006, she performed in Driving Miss Daisy in the starring role of Miss Daisy at the Manitoba Theater Center in Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada. In August 2008, Grassle agreed to sign up as the promotional face for Premier Bathrooms, a supplier of bathing products for the elderly and infirm.
||This section of a biography of a living person does not include any references or sources. (October 2013)|
Grassle has been married three times: her first husband was actor Leon Russom; In 1982, she married J. Allen Radford, a real estate developer, with whom she adopted a daughter, Lily. In 1991 she married Scott T. Sutherland, an osteopathic physician; they divorced in 2000. Single, she now lives in the San Francisco Bay area with Lily.
|1974||Gunsmoke||Fran||Episode: " The Wiving"|
|1978||The President's Mistress||Donna Morton|
|1978||Battered||Susannah Hawks||Also writer|
|1979||Crisis in Mid-air||Betsy Culver|
|1979||Little House Years||Caroline Ingalls|
|1981||The Love Boat||Paula||1 episode|
|1974–82||Little House on the Prairie||Caroline Ingalls||182 episodes|
|1983||Cocaine: One Man's Seduction||Barbara Gant|
|1983||Hotel||Susan Walker||Episode: "Christmas"|
|1984||Little House: The Last Farewell||Caroline Ingalls|
|1985||Between the Darkness and the Dawn||Ellen Foster Holland|
|Murder, She Wrote||Christine Stoneham
|"Murder in a Minor Key"
"Harbinger of Death"
|1994||Wyatt Earp||Mrs. Sutherland|
|2012||Tales of Everyday Magic||Aunt Dorothy|
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to Karen Grassle.|
- Official website
- Karen Grassle at the Internet Movie Database
- Karen Grassle at the Internet Broadway Database
- Karen Grassle at the Internet Off-Broadway Database
- The Carolyn Jackson Collection, No.52-Interview with Karen Grassle from the Texas Archive of the Moving Image