- small house on the meadow Actress Karen Grassell has opened up about her complicated relationship with Michael Landon in a new memoir.
- She claims that Landon started a “campaign” to “break me up” after she asked for a raise.
- The “campaign” included behavior that she now knows to be sexual harassment.
small house on the meadow Actress Karen Grassell (Ma Ingalls) recently published her memoir Bright lights, prairie dust. Titled “Reflections on Life, Loss, and Love from Little House’s Ma,” the new book chronicles Grassle’s career in theater and television.
She also shares details about her private life, including her struggles with alcoholism. She talks about her relationship with the late Michael Landon. According to Grassle, her co-star started a “campaign” on the group to crash it after she requested a raise.
She was the star of “Little House on the Prairie” unlike her on-screen character
Grassle starred as Caroline “Ma” Ingalls for nine seasons and 182 episodes of small house on the meadow Between 1974 and 1982. In the hit series Grassle, the character of Grassle was the mother to the healthy Ingalls family – a passionate wife and Christian mother of five who lived with her family in 19th century Minnesota.
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But according to Grassle, she was never quite like her on-screen character. Instead, she was a self-hating addict who had a string of failed romantic relationships, two unwanted pregnancies, and a no-good relationship with her TV husband.
Karen Grassell vividly remembers her experience
When Grassle auditioned for the role of Caroline, she had just moved from New York to Los Angeles and was a little-known actress in Hollywood. It really was an achievement to land the part, and she still remembers how auditioning took place at Paramount Studios in January 1973.
Grassley wrote, “I was told to wear a dress and not make-up. In the ’70s, it was common for actresses in Hollywood to wear skinny jeans, mini tops that reveal diaphragms, false eyelashes and lots of eyeliner. That was an ‘inside’ look but the look, [my] He wasn’t helping Michael Landon pick Caroline Ingalls, the Pioneer Mum,” said the agent.
She arrived in a modest dress, and the only makeup she wore was a touch of brown eyeshadow. Grassle says it was a winning strategy because just minutes after doing a test scene, Landon says she “rose off the floor like Jack in the box and yelled, ‘Send her to the wardrobe!'” “
‘Little House on the Prairie’ star says Michael Landon started a ‘campaign’ against her
Grassle remembers her first season of little house proudly. She told the New York Post that Landon was a demanding president, but he was also “a wonderful multi-talented person.”
“He was very nervous, but he carried the weight of the show on his shoulders,” Grassley said.
The 79-year-old said: Closer Weekly She and Landon “worked very well together”. And people always tell her about the wonderful chemistry they have.
Related: “Little House on the Prairie”: Which stars were related in real life?
Grassle’s salary was between $2,000 and $4,000 a week during the height of her fame little house, which was a decent wage for a TV series actor at the time. But after her very successful first season, Grass says she asked Landon for a salary raise. However, he turned it down because he believed her earnings should match what the child actors were earning.
She admits: “I was offended that I co-starred in a successful series.” “I didn’t want anyone to quit, but I expected a fair wage.”
Karen Grassell claims Michael Landon was making disgusting jokes on set
After Landon refused the raise request, Grassle claimed that he “initiated this campaign on the set to try to divide me somewhat and reduce my value on the show.” She says Landon – who was also the series’ executive producer and writer – left her out of the story and cut her scenes. Landon and the crew were also making fun of her looks and facial expressions while reviewing the daily footage.
But the worst part – she says – was the sexual harassment. Grassell explained that Landon’s sloppy language and rude behavior made her want to “disappear”.
“Mike would say ‘C__’ and make disgusting jokes about how a woman smells after sex,” Grassley recalls. “It was like I was frozen. But, as a woman in the film industry in the ’70s, I was so accustomed to this carelessness, I never thought I’d scold him so hard. I continued professional. I would be the good girl, playing the part and wishing.”
The ‘Little House on the Prairie’ star cheated on her fiancé with a guest star
In the 1970s, Grassley admits, she was “a mess.” In addition to being an alcoholic while starring as Ma Ingalls, she admits that she cheated on her fiancé at the time with little house Guest of honor Jill Gerrard. She wrote in her diary that Gerard later called her and told her she might have had gonorrhea.
The actress says it wasn’t until she woke up that she looked back and realized how impressed she was with her changing TV self.
Related: Michael Landon was not born to “Little House on the Prairie” star Michael Landon
“I never doubted that my real desire was to settle down, a husband who wants a family, and my children,” Grassley wrote. “I had no proof that I wanted what Caroline Ingalls already had.”
Bright Lights, Dust of the Prairie: Reflections on Life, Loss, and Love From the mother of the little house Available now in stores.
all episodes small house on the meadow Available to stream exclusively on Peacock.