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Karen Grassle Poster

Biography

Jump to: Overview (3) | Mini Bio (1) | Spouse (3) | Trivia (19) | Personal Quotes (3)

Overview (3)

Date of Birth 25 February 1942Berkeley, California, USA
Birth NameKaren Trust Grassle
Height 5' 6" (1.68 m)

Mini Bio (1)

Karen Grassle was born on February 25, 1942 in Berkeley, California, USA as Karen Trust Grassle. She is an actress and writer, known for Little House on the Prairie (1974), Wyatt Earp (1994) and Cocaine: One Man's Seduction (1983).

Spouse (3)

Dr. Scott Sutherland (1991 - 2000) (divorced)
James Alan Radford (25 April 1982 - ?) (divorced) (1 child)
Leon Russom (? - ?) (divorced)

Trivia (19)

Graduated from the University of California at Berkeley in 1964
Graduated class valedictorian from Ventura High School in 1959.
Trained at the London Academy of Music and Dramatic Art.
Best known for her role as Caroline Ingalls, Michael Landon's ranch wife on the TV series Little House on the Prairie (1974) for eight seasons.
A long-involved advocate for women's rights, she wrote and co-starred in the mini-movie Battered (1978), which dealt with the issues of domestic violence.
2002 - Appeared on the "Memorable TV Moms" version of Weakest Link (2001), along with June Lockhart (Lassie (1954), Lost in Space (1965)), Jo Marie Payton (Family Matters (1989)), Pat Crowley (Please Don't Eat the Daisies (1965)), Janet Hubert (The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air (1990)), Alley Mills (The Wonder Years (1988)), Carol Potter (Beverly Hills, 90210 (1990)) and Beverly Garland (My Three Sons (1960)). Potter won.
Inducted (as a cast member of Little House on the Prairie (1974)) into the Hall of Great Western Performers of the National Cowboy and Western Heritage Museum in 1998.
Won the role of Caroline Ingalls in Little House on the Prairie (1974) out of 47 other actresses who also auditioned.
After Little House on the Prairie (1974) ended, she was featured as a guest star on various television shows and toured the country performing in numerous plays. Later on, she moved to Louisville, Kentucky, to continue her work in the theater. She was the co-founder and artistic director of Santa Fe's Resource Theatre Company and starred in "Wit" at the Arizona Theater Company.
Her first New York break was the play "The Gingham Tree." She had to borrow a dollar from a friend to go to the audition!
Her father, Gene Grassle, ran a gas station and her mother managed a restaurant.
She was known as the miracle baby in her family because, previous to her birth, her mother had 4 miscarriages.
In the late 1960s - hoping to boost her career, briefly changed her professional name to Kay Dillinger, claiming to be the illegitimate offspring of the notorious 1930s bank robber (who died ten years before she was born!).
When she came to LA in 1973 for a never-completed movie project, she was calling herself "Gabriel Tree", and it was under this name that she beat out 47 other actresses for the role of "Caroline Ingalls" in the long-running TV drama Little House on the Prairie (1974) (co-star Michael Landon convinced her to revert back to her given name of Karen Grassle).
Played the mother of 5 children on Little House on the Prairie (1974), but never had any biological children of her own.
She is a staunch liberal Democrat.
Appearing in a commercial for "Premier" bathrooms. [January 2009]
She now lives in Pacific Palisades, California, with her adopted daughter, Lily. [2005]
Good friend of Michael Landon.

Personal Quotes (3)

Well, yes! But you have to put the work first. It can be quite painful if you don't feel appreciated by your partner, or if you're supposed to be wildly attracted to them and you're not. But so what? We get to be actors. We are lucky to be able to work.
[on the importance of having the right chemistry of either a series' or a co-star]: No. Of course, it's more fun if you and the other person work well together, but it's not a requirement. I mean, you're acting. You can have difficulties with each other because of ego or insecurity or advertising and billing, things that can annoy people or hurt their feelings, but you don't let it get in the way of the work. That's the thing.
No. I never tell people how old I am. As an actor, it's not in my interest.

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