Once upon a time, Melissa Sue Anderson was the enviable child sensation who graced television screens all across the United States, most notably for her role as actor Michael Landon’s character’s daughter, Mary Ingalls, in the hit Western drama series, Little House on the Prairie.
However, despite the heights she attained in the late 70s and early 80s, Anderson was not quite able to make a decent career out of acting when she became an adult. Regardless, her mark on television history cannot be disputed.
Melissa Sue Anderson’s Bio
Melissa Sue Anderson was born to James and Marion Anderson on the 26th of September, 1962 in Berkeley, California. She and her older sister, Maureen, who is twelve years her senior, were raised in the Bay Area by their parents until they relocated to Los Angeles when Anderson was seven years of age.
While in LA, Anderson’s parents enrolled her in a dance class where she displayed the talent that was well ahead of her age. The dance teacher further urged her parents to find an agent for their daughter since she looked like she was destined for the screen. Anderson first began appearing in commercials before television show producers started lining up for her services. Her first appearance on TV occurred when she was just ten years of age in an episode of the ABC sitcom Bewitched. That same year, she appeared in The Brady Bunch and then an episode of Shaft, as her stock began to rise in Hollywood.
In 1973, Anderson was cast as Mary Ingalls in Little House on the Prairie, a show in which she would go ahead to star in for eight years to come by. In 1975, at the age of thirteen, Anderson went through some disability in her personal life as her parents divorced. This, however, did not prove to be much of a distraction in her acting career as she continued to appear in various series and movies in the 70s, most notably The Loneliest Runner (1976), James at 15 (1977-1978), and Survival of Dana (1979). In 1978, her performance on Little House on the Prairie earned her a Primetime Emmy Award nomination for Best Leading Actress in a Drama Series. She followed that up with an Emmy for her role in Which Mother Is Mine? (1979) and then a ‘TP de Oro’ Award in Spain in 1980 for ‘Best Foreign Actress for her role in Little House on the Prairie.
After leaving the Little House show in 1981, Melissa Sue Anderson appeared in movies like Happy Birthday to Me (1981) and Chattanooga Choo Choo (1984) as well as in a number of TV shows. However, she was not quite unable to land a major recurring role in a series or the lead role in a big movie, which led to her career dropping from the heights she had attained as a child actor.
According to Celebrity Net Worth, Melissa Sue Anderson has a net worth estimated to be around $1.5 million. The Emmy Award-winning actress, who was inducted into the Western Performers Hall of Fame in 1998 at the National Cowboy & Western Heritage Museum in Oklahoma City, was able to amass her wealth through the salaries she has earned from her various on-screen roles.
In 2010, Anderson published her autobiography, The Way I See It: A Look Back at My Life on Little House which focused on her life during the time she was a child star. It is not clear how much money Anderson got paid or how much royalties she receives, however, proceeds from the book are said to have contributed to her estimated net worth.
Spouse or Husband Michael Sloan
Melissa Sue Anderson is married to writer and producer Michael Sloan who is best known for creating the Emmy Award-nominated drama series Quincy M.E. (1976) and The Equalizer series (1985-1989) which led to the movies; The Equalizer (2014) and its sequel The Equalizer 2 (2018).
It is not exactly clear when the two began dating, however, Anderson and Sloan had in the 1980s, worked together on The Equalizer and Alfred Hitchcock Presents series. They exchanged vows in 1990 and went ahead to welcome two children; daughter Piper, born in 1991, and son Griffin, who was born in June 1996. In 2002, the whole family moved to Montreal, Canada where they have since been called home and became naturalized Canadians.