Melissa Sue Anderson
||This biographical article needs additional citations for verification. (March 2013)|
|Melissa Sue Anderson|
Anderson as Mary Ingalls in
Little House on the Prairie, 1974
September 26, 1962 |
Berkeley, California, U.S.
Melissa Sue Anderson (born September 26, 1962) is an American-Canadian actress. She began her career as a child actress. Anderson is known for her role as Mary Ingalls on the NBC drama series Little House on the Prairie. She is also known for her film roles; Vivian in Midnight Offerings, Ginny in the cult classic slasher Happy Birthday to Me, and Alex in the ABC Afterschool Special, Which Mother Is Mine?, for which she won an Emmy Award in 1979.
Her show business career began when a dance teacher urged her parents to find an agent for her. She began doing television commercials, and soon she was in demand for television roles. Her first came in a 1972 episode of Bewitched entitled "Tabitha's First Day Of School." A memorable early role of hers was of Millicent, a girl who kissed Bobby and induced him to see fireworks on The Brady Bunch.
At the age of eleven, Anderson landed the role of Mary Ingalls on Little House on the Prairie. Having originally auditioned for the role of Laura Ingalls, she would go on to star on the show for eight seasons; beginning in 1974 and leaving after season seven, later appearing in two episodes of season eight in late 1981.
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. In 1977, she once again co-starred as the love interest opposite Lance Kerwin in the television film James at 15.
She 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 and won the Emmy Award for her performance in Which Mother Is Mine?, which aired as an ABC Afterschool Special in 1979. Also in 1979, she played the title role of Dana Lee Gilbert, a North Dakota transfer student to Los Angeles' San Fernando Valley, California in CBS's TV movie Survival of Dana.
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. This followed a successful visit to Spain in 1979 to appear as a guest on RTVE's program, 625 Lineas. In 1981, she earned a Young Artist Award nomination for her performance in the Canadian slasher film Happy Birthday to Me. After leaving Little House, she continued acting in television shows like The Equalizer, Alfred Hitchcock Presents (1980s), and Murder, She Wrote, and was the associate producer for the next to last TV project Michael Landon made before dying: Where Pigeons Go to Die (1990). 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 her autobiography entitled 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 on The Little House On The Prairie, contains behind-the-scenes stories and anecdotes about the show itself, its stars, guest stars, and crew members.
Methodically, Anderson takes the reader through each of the first seven seasons of the show (the seasons in which she appeared). She also tells about her pre- and post-Little House career and her side-projects during the Little House years. She is frank and open about her feelings about the projects in which she has been involved, and also writes about her personal life and how it was affected by her career.
Anderson was born in Berkeley, California. Anderson's first publicly known romance was with actor Lorenzo Lamas, with whom she made an appearance in the television series The Love Boat in which two friends (Lorenzo and Melissa) resist the matchmaking efforts of their parents. After this short romance, she dated Frank Sinatra, Jr. in the late 1970s, who, at the time, was more than twice her age.
With husband Michael Sloan, Anderson has two children, daughter Piper (born February 1991) and son Griffin (born June 1996). She has lived in Montreal, Quebec, Canada since 2002. She and her husband became naturalized Canadians in 2007.
|1972||Bewitched||Girl||Episode: "Tabitha's First Day of School"|
|1973||Brady Bunch, TheThe Brady Bunch||Millicent||Episode: "Never Too Young"|
|1973||Shaft||Cathy (uncredited)||Episode: "The Enforcers"|
|1974–81||Little House on the Prairie||Mary Ingalls||163 episodes|
|1976||Loneliest Runner, TheThe Loneliest Runner||Nancy Rizzi|
|1977||James at 15||Lacey Stevens||Episode: "Pilot"|
|1977||ABC Afterschool Special||Kate||Episode: "Very Good Friends"|
|1978||Hanna-Barbera Happy Hour, TheThe Hanna-Barbera Happy Hour||Director of the musical||1 episode|
|Love Boat, TheThe Love Boat||Jennifer 'Chubs' Smith / Cindy Jerome / Cathy Cummings / Dana Colton||4 episodes|
|1979||Survival of Dana||Dana Lee Gilbert|
|1979||ABC Afterschool Special||Alexandria 'Alex' Benton||Episode: "Which Mother Is Mine?"|
|1979||New Kind of Family, AA New Kind of Family||Lisa||Episode: "The Overcharge"|
|1979||Little House Years||Mary Ingalls|
|1979||CHiPs||Herself||Episode: "Roller Disco" (Part 2)|
|1980||Fantasy Island||Amy Marson||Episode: "Rogues to Riches/Stark Terror"|
|1980||Insight||Mary Beth||Episode: "Princess"|
|1981||Midnight Offerings||Vivian Sotherland|
|1981||Advice to the Lovelorn||Maureen Tyler|
|1982||Innocent Love, AnAn Innocent Love||Molly Rush|
|1982/83||Spider-Man and His Amazing Friends||Katherine 'Kitty' Pryde / Spryte (voice)||Episodes: "The Origin of Iceman", "The X-Men Adventure"|
|1983||First Affair||Toby King|
|1984||Finder of Lost Loves||Nikki Gatos||Episode: "Pilot"|
|1984||Murder, She Wrote||Eve Crystal||Episode: "Hooray for Homicide"|
|1984||Glitter||Elizabeth||Episode: "A Minor Miracle"|
|1984/85||Hotel||Cassie Ray / Anne Goldman||Episodes: "Lifelines", "Imperfect Union"|
|1986||Dark Mansions||Noelle Drake|
|1987–88||Equalizer, TheThe Equalizer||Yvette Marcel||4 episodes|
|1988/89||New Alfred Hitchcock Presents, TheThe New Alfred Hitchcock Presents||Laura Donovan / Julie Fenton||Episodes: "VCR - Very Careful Rape", "Murder in Mind"|
|1989||Memories of Manon||Yvette Marcel|
|1989||Return of Sam McCloud, TheThe Return of Sam McCloud||Colleen McCloud|
|1993/94||X-Men||Snowbird (voice)||Episodes: "Repo Man", "Phoenix Saga, Part 5: Child of Light"|
|1994||Burke's Law||Michelle Ryder||Episode: "Who Killed Alexander the Great?"|
|1998||Earthquake in New York||Dr. Marilyn Blake|
|1999||Partners||Cheryl Darrin||3 episodes|
|2000||Thin Ice||Tanya Ferguson|
|2006||10.5: Apocalypse||First Lady Megan Hollister|
|2007||Marco Polo||Mother (voice, uncredited)|
|1981||Happy Birthday to Me||Virginia Wainwright|
|1984||Chattanooga Choo Choo||Jennie|
|1988||Suicide Club, TheThe Suicide Club||Laura Donovan on TV|
|1988||Far North||Young Nurse|
|1989||Looking Your Best|
|1990||Dead Men Don't Die||Dulcie Niles|
|1994||Animated Stories from the Bible: Music Video – Volume 1||Snake (voice)||Video|
|1995||Killer Lady||American Lady|
|2006||Crazy Eights||Hospital Patient (uncredited)|
|2010||Marker 187||Short film|
- "3rd Youth In Film Awards". YoungArtistAwards.org. Retrieved 2011-03-31.