This year was the two day 40th anniversary of the Little House on the Prairie TV show that first aired as a regular series in 1974. Although there were several smaller events through out the year, the big one was in late July in Walnut Grove, Minnesota the real version of the fictional town that was built in Simi Valley, California. Eleven different actors from the TV series came for the reunion. The event blew away organizers as the population of the town at least tripled for those two days even though in down poured rain on the morning of the second day.
Cast on Stage
Courtesy of Linda Starbuck
During the day the stars mostly signed autographs for incredibly long lines of fans. Each evening before the pageant they did about 45 minutes of questions and answers from audience members. The footage below was all shot on July 25, 2014th, but I was there both nights and quite a few of the questions repeated.
For all the activities cameras were filming and the videos were edited, probably intended to be a DVD (the individual parts are called chapters), the Walnut Grove Museum created a YouTube page and uploaded them there. Find the direct links to each individual video below. Under each film clip I’ve put notes on what appears in each section to help you find specific bits later. In addition the day of they shot quick takes with several of the stars while they were eating breakfast in an unnamed hotel where they were staying. You can hear breakfast background noise through each of these and most of them have just a little more than they meant to at each end (you’ll see what I mean). I’ve added those if it fit with a segment and in a special section at the bottom if they didn’t.
A second professional camera man was following around Radamas Paras working on a documentary about him. That’s the last I’ve heard of it, if anybody else knows anything please let us know.
I also took some video that I’ve edited into travel diaries I haven’t done a post yet because I still haven’t finished editing them all, but you can find what I’ve done so far on Vimeo.
Catch up with more posts about the TV show:
Little House Reunion 40 WG
Begins as both night’s interview did with an introduction of actors who came:
Introduced Charlotte Stewart [Miss Beadle], Hersha Parady [Alice Garvey], Lindsey Greenbush [Carrie Ingalls], Sydney Greenbush [Carrie Ingalls], Radamas Paras [John Edwards], Lucy Lee Flippin [Eliza Jane Wilder], Dean Butler [Almanzo Wilder], Wendi Turnbaugh Lee [Grace Ingalls], Brenda Turnbaugh Weatherby [Grace Ingalls], Alison Arngrim [Nellie Oleson] (out of the Olesen Mercantile set)
Where are they now – catching up on what each cast member is doing now starting at 4:40
Cast recalls their favorite episodes
Charlotte Stewart aka Miss Beadle, First day on the set, Would Michael Landon have been at Reunion this summer, How she got started acting, Her last day on the set, Friendships with cast, Having fun at Reunion, Will people still be watching “Little House” in 100 years, On being remembered, Joy of “Little House”
Audience Questions: Nonverbal communication and Casting, Victor French and his skill as actor and director, How old when started show, In God Sister which one played real Carrie, What years did the show run?
Audience Questions: Restored DVDs what will they have for special features, How did Dean feel when Almanzo punched the guy, How did the Ingalls get famous enough that they did a TV show about them, How tone and feeling of the books were translated onscreen, Why was adoption a theme that ran through the show, What was twins relationship with Karen Grassel like, Dean talks about Almanzo’s name (and the CORRECT pronunciation), Almanzo’s relationship with Laura
Audience Questions: Mud fight, Dan McBride aka Henry Riley restaurant customer surprise appearance, Which episode would you reshoot, Did Nellie teach Nancy to be mean?, Why did John Junior cheat on Mary and Michael Landon‘s fight with Victor French
Radamas Paras aka John Jr. – His run on show, On Michael Landon, Would Michael Landon have come to anniversary, Have you read the “Little House” books?, What makes the show stay popular, How do you like Walnut Grove
Audience Question: How long did it take to film an episode, memorable outtakes, How did they feel when town blew up – most haven’t been able to watch it, Cast Romances, Nellie and Nancy relationship,
Dean Butler aka Almanzo Wilder – Dean recalls water rights episode, Michael Landon as director, Memories of real Walnut Grove,
Audience Question: Memorable Guest stars mentioned James Cromwell, Ray Bolger, Ernest Borgnine, Patricia Neal, Johnny Cash, Gil Gerard, Neal Memory Games, Shots of audience
Bonus Video: Wendi Turnbaugh “Grace Ingalls”
Bonus Video: Dan McBride “Henry Riley”
Bonus Video: Alison Arngrim “Nellie Oleson”
Sarah S. Uthoff is the main force behind Trundlebed Tales fighting 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.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. She is currently acting President of the Laura Ingalls Wilder Legacy and Research Association. Professionally she is a reference librarian at Kirkwood Community College and director of the Oxford (Iowa) Public Library.