Behind the Scenes: Melissa Sue Anderson Opens Up About Departing Hollywood

Melissa Sue Anderson, known for her role as Mary Ingalls on the iconic TV series “Little House on the Prairie,” has shared insights into why she stepped away from Hollywood and left the spotlight.

Born on September 26, 1962, in Berkeley, California, Anderson began her acting career at a young age, earning recognition for her performances in sitcoms like “Bewitched” and “The Brady Bunch.” However, her breakthrough came with the role of Mary Ingalls, a character central to the success of “Little House on the Prairie.”

Despite the show’s popularity, Anderson faced challenges as a child actress, dealing with intrusive questions from peers about her earnings. Over her Hollywood career, she earned around $1.5 million, but during her time on “Little House,” her salary was not notably high.

After the show concluded, Anderson continued her acting career, featuring in television films like “Which Mother is Mine?” and “Survival of Dana.” However, she never found a role as high-profile as Mary Ingalls.

In the 1980s, Anderson briefly dated Frank Sinatra Jr., whom she met while guest-starring on “The Love Boat.” The alleged romance was, according to Anderson, blown out of proportion, emphasizing that they were close friends.

In 1990, she married television producer Michael Sloan, with whom she has a daughter, Piper, and a son, Griffin. Family life led Anderson to make a significant decision, becoming a Canadian citizen. The family moved to Montreal in 2002 and naturalized in 2007.

Stepping away from show business for an extended period, Anderson prioritized her family, allowing her children to develop their own identities without the pressures of Hollywood. Although her kids show no interest in acting, Anderson has returned to the spotlight with small TV and movie roles.

Now 61, Anderson authored a memoir titled “The Way I See It: A Look Back at My Life on Little House,” reflecting on her experiences on the iconic show. She remains down-to-earth, modest, and realistic, appreciating her authenticity in an industry often associated with glamour and artifice.

It’s always fascinating to hear what the stars of our old favorite shows are up to. Glad Melissa Sue Anderson is still doing well!

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