The Way I See it: A Look Back at My Life on Little House

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Globe Pequot Press, 2010 - Biography & Autobiography - 243 pages
11 Reviews

When other girls her age were experiencing their first crushes, Melissa Sue Anderson was receiving handwritten marriage proposals from fans as young, and younger, than she was. When other girls were dreaming of their first kiss, Melissa was struggling through hers in front of a camera. From age eleven in 1974 until she left the show in 1981, Melissa Anderson literally grew up before the viewers of Little House on the Prairie.


Melissa, as Mary, is remembered by many as “the blind sister”; and she was the only actor in the series to be nominated for an Emmy. In Growing Up Mary, she takes readers onto the set and inside the world of the iconic series created by Michael Landon—who, Melissa discovered, was not perfect, as much as he tried to be. In this memoir she also shares her memories of working with guest stars like Todd Bridges, Lou Gossett, Jr., Mariette Hartley, Sean Penn, Patricia Neal, and Johnny Cash.


In addition to stories of life on the set, Melissa offers revealing looks at her relationships off-set with her costars, including the other Melissa (Melissa Gilbert) and Alison Arngrim, who portrayed Nellie Oleson on the show. And she relates stories of her guest appearances on iconic programs such as The Love Boat and The Brady Bunch.


Filled with personal, revealing anecdotes and memorabilia from the Little House years, this book is also a portrait of a child star who became a successful adult actress and a successful adult. These are stories from “the other Ingalls sister” that have never been told.

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LibraryThing Review

User Review  - olegalCA - LibraryThing

Argh. Could have been really good - instead, it just narrowly avoided being one of those books I could not finish. What it includes: tedious descriptions of Little House on the Prairie episodes that I ... Read full review

LibraryThing Review

User Review  - mariacamp - LibraryThing

Disappointing, but somewhat interesting. From the look of her face on the cover and the title of the book, I really expected a lot more. She says very little about her family or those she worked with ... Read full review

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About the author (2010)

Few television stars of the 1970s were as high-profile as Melissa Anderson of Little House on the Prairie. Melissa's career began when she was only 9. Because she had asthma, her doctor recommended that she strengthen her lungs with activities such as ice skating and dance. A dance instructor, impressed by her talent, urged her parents to find an agent for her, and Melissa was soon appearing on television commercials for Mattel Toys and French's Mustard. Her big break came when her agent landed her an audition for "a pioneer western" that turned out to be Michael Landon's Little House on the Prairie.From more than two hundred young actresses who auditioned for the roles of the sisters, she was selected to play Mary Ingalls. The only requirements were that she lose five pounds, and that she sign a seven-year contract. She agreed, and at age 11, became one of television's most beloved characters in one of the most watched shows in the history of television. It is still syndicated in practically every country in the world. Michael Landon selected her to play his first girlfriend in The Loneliest Runner, the 1976 television movie based on his life. After her contract expired in 1981, Melissa chose to leave the series and continued acting in television shows, such as Alfred Hitchcock Presents, Murder, She Wrote, Aaron Spelling's Dark Mansions, An Innocent Love, First Affair, and in a recurring role as Edward Woodward's daughter in The Equalizer. Her feature films include Dead Men Don't Die and the horror classic, Happy Birthday to Me.Melissa was the associate producer for Where Pigeons Go to Die (1990), one of the last two TV projects Michael Landon made before his death. She and her husband, Equalizer creator Michael Sloan, whom she met when she appeared on Alfred Hitchcock Presents, have two children.

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