‘Little House’ Star Melissa Sue Anderson Turned Down Major Film Role


Melissa Sue Anderson is best known as Mary Ingalls on Little House on the Prairie. While she starred in the series for eight seasons, she started to itch for other roles. However, she was offered one big role that she turned down.

During her time on Little House on the Prairie, she was offered the main role in The Blue Lagoon, which of course, ended up going to Brooke Shields. Melissa had several reasons for turning down the exciting opportunity, including a clause in her contract.


Melissa Sue Anderson turned down the role in ‘The Blue Lagoon’

HAPPY BIRTHDAY TO ME, Melissa Sue Anderson, 1981. ©Columbia Pictures/courtesy Everett Collection

She said, “I was originally asked to play the role Brooke Shields made famous in ‘The Blue Lagoon’ a couple of years earlier. I was uncomfortable with the nudity. Not to mention the fact that I had a morals clause in my NBC contract. So I politely turned it down.”


RELATED: Melissa Sue Anderson Hated One Of Her ‘Little House On The Prairie’ Co-Stars

THE BLUE LAGOON, Brooke Shields, 1980, (c) Columbia/courtesy Everett Collection

However, in 1980, she got a role that she happily accepted. She starred in her first feature film called Happy Birthday To Me. She was able to get a little time away from Little House on the Prairie to film the movie.

LITTLE HOUSE ON THE PRAIRIE, Melissa Sue Anderson, 1974-1983 / Everett Collection

She explained, “This time it wasn’t as difficult to solve the scheduling conflict with ‘Little House’ because I simply wasn’t in as many episodes that season. I was also lucky that the majority of shows were already set to be filmed after I would have finished shooting the movie.”

Could you have seen Melissa in The Blue Lagoon?

RELATED: Learn More About ‘Little House’ Star Melissa Sue Anderson’s Children

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