I want to thank Pauly Tee who posted this The Friend Zone interview of Melissa Francis, anchor of MONEY with Melissa Francis and Markets Now on the Fox Business Network. Francis also played Cassandra Cooper on Little House on the Prairie (NBC TV show) for two seasons. She later attended Harvard before moving into business news.
Cassandra is a Character
Cassandra Cooper was one of two orphan siblings that the characters Charles and Caroline Ingalls adopt on the television show. Landon pushed the characters of Laura and Mary to become grown married women early and that took out storyline options for the Ingalls as a nuclear family. They had earlier successfully brought in Albert when they decided they needed a boy. For some reason, neither Carrie nor Grace were effectively used as older children so to keep feeding the Ingalls nucelar family storylines they needed more children. The writers invented a kind of horrible covered wagon crash and the Ingalls adopted the surviving children. Cassandra’s brother Jason Cooper was played by Jason Bateman who has gone on to have a stellar career as an actor. When Michael Landon decided he wanted to do more work on the production side of things as he was expanding shows, he moved the Charles and Caroline Ingalls family out of Walnut Grove and they took Carrie, Grace, Albert, James, and Cassandra with them and for the most part off the show. That allowed him to not be on camera as much himself. The Cooper siblings are mostly remembered for the episode where Charles goes a little nuts and builds a shrine to try to cure James which eventually works.
It’s in the Books
Back in 2012, Francis wrote a memoir of her time on the show called Diary of a Stage Mother’s Daughter.
During April 2017, her new book is coming out. Francis: “A lot of the great values I learned on ‘the prairie’ really applied to the rest of your life….like self-reliance, independence, and hard work.” According to Francis, Landon hired hard workers, but also taught them the same professional values you saw on the show. Her new book is a self-help book based on those ‘prairie’ principles where she laughs at herself, check out Lessons from the Prairie.
Sarah S. Uthoff is the main force behind Trundlebed Tales striving to bring the History, Mystery, Magic and Imagination of Laura Ingalls Wilder and other greats of children’s literature and history to life for a new generation. Uthoff is a nationally known Laura Ingalls Wilder authority and has presented at five of the Wilder homesites, many conferences and numerous libraries, museums, and events around the Midwest. Attend one of her programs, schedule one yourself, watch her videos, listen to her podcast, and find her on Facebook, Twitter, Google+, LinkedIn, and Academia.edu. Professionally she is a reference librarian at Kirkwood Community College and director of the Oxford (Iowa) Public Library.