Actress Melissa Sue Anderson became an internationally-recognized television star at the age of eleven and remains a fan favorite for her long-running portrayal of “Mary Ingalls” on Little House on the Prairie.
In this revealing and very personal conversation, Melissa shares details of her life as a child actor who broke into the business because—in spite of her confessed shyness—“it sounded like fun”.
Melissa’s innate sense of humor is evident as she shares with Bob and Suzanne the anxieties of auditioning for network executives, producers, and directors…all the while competing with other talented kids like Jodie Foster. But Melissa apparently had “that special something” that sold well on the tube, because by the time she was cast in her first television role on The Brady Bunch, she had dozens of on-air commercials to her credit.
Throughout the interview, Melissa delivers the impressions of a 10-year old working on Hollywood’s sound stages where she was surprised to find that “things were so fake.” She describes her many co-stars with amusing candor, and shares memories of those who generously gave her their inside “acting tips”.
Fans of Little House will be intrigued to hear Melissa describe her first meeting with Michael Landon and what it was like competing for the role of “Mary Ingalls”…and ultimately working on the show where she really learned the ropes of working in an ensemble of actors on a hit series.
She also shares her secret to “playing blind”…a technique that served her well as she was cast as a sightless person more than she would have liked.
Melissa then shares her fond memories of working with her “favorite producer” Aaron Spelling and both the fun and frustration of working on Dark Mansions, Bob’s 2-hour ABC-TV series pilot that fell victim to studio and network politics.
An author (her book The Way I See It tells the full story of life on the set of “Little House”), Emmy winner, and member of the Western Performers Hall of Fame–whose favorite acting gig was on The Equalizer, created by her future husband Michael Sloan–actress Melissa Sue Anderson’s story is inspiring and instructive.
Throughout the podcast, Melissa delivers great insights into working with agents, producers, directors…and the unpredictable yet very real value of “luck”.