Melissa Sue Anderson Celebrates Her 61st Birthday: A Heart-Stopping Look at Her Today

Do you ever find yourself reminiscing about a beloved old TV show and wondering what happened to its stars years after the final episode aired? Fans of “Little House on the Prairie” who eagerly followed the Ingalls family’s adventures on their Plum Creek farm near Walnut Grove, Minnesota, might be curious about the current lives of the cast.

Melissa Sue Anderson, the beloved actress who portrayed Mary Ingalls, captured the hearts of her audience. Many imagined she would be a permanent fixture on their TV screens, yet she chose a different path. Today, Anderson discusses her decision to move to Canada and step away from the Hollywood spotlight. In 2007, after her family became Canadian citizens, she decided to leave the entertainment industry. Her motivation was to devote more time to her children and to avoid pushing them into acting careers. This marked a significant shift for Anderson, who had been cherished by fans who thought she would always be a part of their television lives.

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Today, she reflects on her decision to move to Canada and leave Hollywood.

Initially taking on supporting roles, she made a significant impact in the entertainment world as a central figure on “Little House on the Prairie.” Her compelling performance earned her multiple nominations for Best Lead Actress in a Drama Series, which her fans agreed were well-deserved.

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In a 2010 interview with Pop Entertainment, Anderson discussed her role in the drama that propelled her to stardom. She remarked, “I’m fortunate that there was even a character for me to play, because in the original book, the character is barely there.” Laura Ingalls Wilder wrote the Little House novels—on which the television series was based—later in life, reflecting on her cherished memories. In her narratives, not much emphasis was placed on the personalities of Ma and Mary. While Mary did not feature prominently, characters like Laura, Pa, Jack the dog, and Mr. Edwards were central. Anderson appreciated that the producers recognized her acting talent, allowing her character to be more developed in the series.


After her time as Mary Ingalls, she pursued several minor roles before marrying television producer Michael Sloan in 1990. The couple, along with their two children, Griffin and Piper, relocated to Montreal in 2002.

In 2007, after her family became Canadian citizens, Anderson chose to retire from show business. She wished to dedicate more time to her children and aimed to ensure they did not feel pressured to follow careers in the entertainment industry. In an interview with E-Talk, Anderson explained, “I really stepped away for a long time.” She elaborated that this decision was made mainly for her children’s benefit, allowing them to develop their own identities rather than living in her shadow.

Anderson hasn’t completely retired from acting; in recent years, she has taken on a few small roles. Her significant experiences as a cast member on shows like “Little House on the Prairie” inspired her to write a memoir, titled “The Way I See It: A Look Back at My Life on Little House.”

On June 21, 2022, in Monte-Carlo, Monaco, Melissa Sue Anderson is present at the closing ceremony of the 61st Monte Carlo TV Festival.

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