Melissa Sue Anderson
- Category : Entertainment-Actor-Actress
- Type : GP
- Profile : 6/2 - Role Model / Hermit
- Definition : Single
- Incarnation Cross : LAX Healing 2
Melissa Sue Anderson is an American-Canadian actress. Born September 26, 1962 in Berkeley, California, she began her career as a child actress. Anderson is perhaps best known for her role as Mary Ingalls on the NBC television series Little House on the Prairie, as well as for her film roles; as Vivian in Midnight Offerings, as Ginny in the cult classic slasher Happy Birthday to Me, and as Alex in the ABC Afterschool Special, Which Mother Is Mine?, for which she won the Emmy Award in 1979.
Her show business career began when a dance teacher urged her parents to find an agent for her. She began doing television commercials, and soon she was in demand for television roles. One of those included that of Millicent, the girl who kissed Bobby and induced him to see fireworks on The Brady Bunch.
At the age of eleven, Anderson landed the role of Mary Ingalls on the NBC television series, Little House on the Prairie. Beating out hundreds of competitors for the role, she would go on to star on the show for eight years; beginning in 1974 and leaving after Season 7, later appearing in two episodes of Season 8 in late 1981.
In 1976, Michael Landon asked Anderson if she would appear in his autobiographical film,The Loneliest Runner. Anderson agreed to play Nancy Rizzi, the first girlfriend of John Curtis (based on Landon and played by Lance Kerwin), saying she was very thrilled to have been asked. In 1977, she once again co-starred as the love interest opposite Lance Kerwin in the television film James at 15.
She was nominated for a 1978 Primetime Emmy Award for Best Leading Actress in a Drama Series for her work on Little House on the Prairie and won the Emmy Award for her performance in Which Mother Is Mine?, which aired as an ABC Afterschool Special in 1979. Also in 1979, she played the title role of Dana Lee, a North Dakota transfer student to L.A.'s San Fernando Valley in CBS's Survival of Dana.
In 1980, Anderson earned a 'TP de Oro' Award (considered to be Spain's most prestigious award for television) for 'Best Foreign Actress' for her role Little House. This followed a successful visit to Spain in 1979 to appear as a guest on RTVE's program, 625 Lineas. In 1981, she earned a Young Artist Award nomination for her performance in the Canadian slasher film Happy Birthday to Me. After leaving Little House, she continued acting in television shows like The Equalizer, The New Alfred Hitchcock Presents, and Murder, She Wrote, and was the associate producer for the next to last TV project Michael Landon made before dying: Where Pigeons Go to Die (1990). In 1998, she was inducted into the Western Performers Hall of Fame at the National Cowboy & Western Heritage Museum in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma.
In 2010 Anderson released her autobiography entitled The Way I See It - A Look Back at My Life on Little House. The book, which is primarily based on her life during her years as a child star on The Little House On The Prairie, contains behind the scenes-stories and anecdotes about the show itself, its stars, guest stars and crew members.
Methodically, Anderson takes the reader through each of the first seven seasons of the show (the seasons in which she appeared). She also tells about her pre and post Little House career and her side-projects during the Little House years. She is frank and open about her feelings about the projects in which she has been involved, and also writes about her personal life and how it was affected by her career.
Anderson's first publicly known romance was with actor Lorenzo Lamas, with whom she made an appearance in the television series The Love Boat in which two friends (Lorenzo and Melissa) resist the matchmaking efforts of their parents. After this short romance, she dated Frank Sinatra, Jr. who, at the time, was more than twice her age.
With husband Michael Sloan, Anderson has two children, daughter Piper (born February 1991) and son Griffin (born June 1996). She has lived in Montreal, Quebec, Canada since 2002. She and her husband became naturalized Canadians in 2007.