One popular source of comfort has been nostalgic show-watching. And as we all turn to these old favorites, questions arise. Where are some of the classic actors and actresses from these shows? Well, a lot of them are still going strong. For example, at 79, Karen Grassle from Little House on the Prairie is still stunning as ever.
As the matriarch of the family, Grassle took up the role of Ma, formally Caroline Ingalls. Viewers watched as she and Charles Ingalls raised a growing family in a quaint but intricate environment. But what happened to her beyond her life in the little house? Well, even when not on screen, Grassle continued a successful acting career, just as she’d always wanted.
Karen Grassle focused all her efforts on acting
February 25, 1942 marks the day of Karen Grassle’s birth. After that, it didn’t take long for most of her life to be spent on a stage of some sort. She was born to a school teacher and realty business manager, but Grassle put her heart into ballet lessons and performances in school plays. And outside of those activities, she sang for a Baptist choir. Unsurprisingly, when she graduated from college in 1965, she had degrees in English and in Dramatic Art.
For a while, Karen Grassle became a popular name on stages and off. She spent two summers with the Colorado Shakespeare Festival, appeared in some original PBS content, and made her Broadway debut. Then, she earned the spot that made her famous nationwide when she auditioned for the role of Caroline Ingalls and won the part. Earning this role really ushered in an era of more and more on-screen appearances as opposed to on-stage performances. She was a kidnapped saloon girl in Gunsmoke, starred alongside Kevin Costner in Wyatt Earp, and appeared in Harry’s War (1981). Eventually, the show disappeared from screens and so did Karen Grassle. But she did not disappear from the acting scene.
Grassle returned to her first love: theater
Happy birthday, #KarenGrassle!
— getTV (@gettv) February 25, 2020
After Little House on the Prairie ended, Grassle returned to the world of Broadway and stage production. Her passion for theater saw her go to Boston, Kentucky, and New York, Newsner writes. Across her career, she’s appeared in classics like Driving Miss Daisy, Cabaret, and more. Her dedication and experience prompted her to start up her own production company to create more theatrical magic.
Family collided with work when her son persuaded her to go back to the big screen for one hair-raising appearance. At the age of 75, Grassle appeared in Lasso, a 2017 horror movie that received mixed reviews. The presence of cowboys harkened back to her time on Gunsmoke, but at first, Grassle was unsure about taking on the job. “Finally, my son tells me, “Oh just do it, Mom. You’ll have fun! You’ll run screaming in the night!” So, I said, “Okay, I’ll do it.” It’s a total change for me,” she explained. Who knows what other big risks she’ll take still!
As of 2021, Grassle is currently working on a new project, a film called Not to Forget which is in post-production. We can expect a release sometime this year! At 79, we’re happy to see that she’s still doing what she does best.