Little House on the Prairie warmed our hearts for 9 years in the 1970s and 1980s. While most viewers felt like they were part of the Ingalls family, few know these 9 unbelievable secrets that happened behind the scenes.
1. Pa wanted to show off his body
Michael Landon was extremely proud of his physique and used every opportunity to show it off. He was constantly unbuttoning his shirt as well as only ever breaking ribs instead of arms and legs in acccidents around the farm to better display a bandaged chest.
2. Ma had to have a name change
Well, the actress did. Karen Grassle was already going by the stage name Gabriel Tree. Michael Landon wasn’t a fan of the name and the producers agreed she should go back to her original name to fit with the show’s thematic style.
3. Carrie’s fall in the intro was an accident
A pair of twins alternated played the youngest Ingalls sister. On the day to film the opening, one of the girls was awoken from a nap when the other tired. She was still a little sleepy eyed when she ran down the hill so she took a tumble. Michael Landon was so charmed by the toddler that they left it in.
4. Pa felt the need to wear lifts
Michael Landon was by no means a short man at 5′ 9”, however he felt that to be a taller father figure he needed to wear 4′ lifts in his shoes.
5. Nellie wore a wig
While they initially tried to actually curl the actress’ real hair into her iconic locks they show had to eventually settle on using a wip as the curling iron and makeup process was too painful and difficult for the young girl.
6. The Ingalls ate very well
Whenever the script had the family eating whatever stew Ma could cook up, the actors always ate Dinty Moore Beef Stew.
Even the kids got KFC friend chicken in their lunch tins.
7. Laura and Nellie were best friends
While the two of them played rivals on the show who often fought each other, in real life the actresses were great friends. They even played pranks on the cast and crew together.
8. The costumes led to a lot of fainting
Shooting at the Big Sky Ranch in Simi Valley, California proved difficult as the temperature regularly went over 100 degrees. This led to several of the girls passing out under all the layers of clothing and dresses.
9. Pa was a bit of a chain smoker
It was more common to smoke back when the show was being made despite being a nasty habit. However, Landon would always impress young Laura by putting out his cigarettes in his leather gloves.