I was just watching some interviews from the Little House cast and it's amazing to hear how they talk about the show DECADES LATER!
I've heard Katherine MacGregor, Richard Bull, Merlin Oleson, the Labyorteaux boys, Alison Arngrim, Melissa Sue Anderson, and Karen Grassle. Hearing Melissa Gilbert and Dean Butler recollect while visiting the site in Simi Valley. Some talked about finding out they were auditioning for Little House on the Prairie. "LITTLE HOUSE ON THE PRAIRIE?!?!?!?!?!?" Then they were reading in front of Michael Landon and nearly passed out. Then here they are decades later talking about how much those years and the show meant to them.
Alison Arngrim talked about how none of the LHOTP cast was arrested or jailed. It was because Michael Landon created an incredible atmosphere for child actors to work in. They weren't circus performers in a sideshow, they were professional actors, they were to come to work on time, keep up with their school work, and get good grades. They were treated as actors.
Karen Grassle talked about the show's values. Michael Landon dealt with "modern" 70s issues on the show. Drug and alcohol addiction, racism, rape, (the Sylvia episodes still cause controversy), but the heart and soul of the show was still family, commitment, community, hard work, faith, love, and through it all a supernatural force (who they called God) ran through it, and gave meaning and hope to them.
I'm so fortunate to have grown up with Little House on the Prairie. I'm two months and five days older than Melissa Gilbert, so yeah, I grew up with Little House just like the cast did. I'm very glad younger generations are discovering this timeless, legendary show.