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Who is Karen Grassle?

Karen Grassle was born on 25 February 1942, in Berkeley, California USA, and is an actress, perhaps still best known for her role as Caroline Ingalls, the mother of Melissa Gilbert and Melissa Sue Anderson in the television series “Little House on the Prairie”.

The Riches of Karen Grassle

How rich is Karen Grassle? As of late-2018, sources estimate a net worth that is at $500,000, earned through a successful career in acting. She’s also worked on numerous television films, feature films, and theatrical projects in her many years in the industry. As she continues her endeavors, it is expected that her wealth will also continue to increase.

Early Life and Education

Growing up, Karen was already very interested in a career in entertainment, studying ballet at a young age. She attended Ventura High School, and acted in school plays while also performing with the choir. During her senior year, she was the Vice-President of the student body and matriculated in 1959. She then enrolled in Sophie Newcomb College before transferring to the University of California, Berkeley.

She graduated with two degrees, the first in English and the second in Dramatic Art, then received a Fulbright Fellowship to the London Academy of Dramatic Art in London, and also apprenticed in San Francisco’s Actor’s Workshop from 1961 to 1962. Her parents struggled through the depression and later founded the company Grassle Realty located in California during the 1950s. After school, she spent time with the Stanford Contemporary Workshop playing leads in two classical roles at the Colorado Shakespeare Festival, which led to her first professional project at the Front Street Theatre. She then moved to New York City, and travelled to other places in the country to perform.

Posted by Silvia Tuttolomondo on Sunday, July 16, 2017

Career Prominence and Little House on the Prairie

While performing in theatre, Grassle started to make appearances on television, mainly in soap operas by PBS. In 1968, she made her Broadway debut in the short-lived “The Gingham Dog” before heading to another Broadway production – “Butterflies are Free” – which is based on the life of attorney Harold Krents. She continued to perform other iterations of the play, and also had a starring role in “Cymbeline” alongside Christopher Walken and Sam Waterston. In 1974, she auditioned forand won the role of Caroline Ingalls on the series “Little House on the Prairie”.

The television series focuses on a family living on a farm during the 1870s to the 1880s, and is based on the “Little House” series of books by Laura Ingalls Wilder. The show would run for a total of nine seasons from 1974 to 1983, and was considered one of the top shows on television at that time, and won numerous awards. Concurrently she also appeared in an episode of “Gunsmoke”, and in “Seven Brides for Seven Brothers”.

Later Career

Karen had a few feature films after her run with “Little House on the Prairie”, including “Wyatt Earp” which starred Kevin Costner. She co-wrote and starred in the television movie “Battered”, and appeared in a string of television movies over the next few years, including “Between the Darkness and Dawn” and “Crisis in MidAir”, as well as in numerous episodic television series such as “Murder, She Wrote”, “Love Boat”, and “Hotel”. She was a frequent guest in talk shows  and game shows too, and also started to do charity work.

She moved to Santa Fe, New Mexico and became one of the co-founders of the Resource Theatre Company, serving as the Artistic Director. She then moved to Louisville, Kentucky to perform with the Actors Theatre, before in 1999 returning to Los Angeles, then settling in the San Francisco Bay Area. She continues to do theatrical work today, participating in productions such as “Driving Miss Daisy” in which she had a starring role, and was awarded a prize for her performance in “Cabaret” held at the San Francisco Playhouse. She has also occasionally appeared in commercials, such as promoting Premier Bathrooms.

Personal Life

For her personal life, Grassle has been married three times, firstly to Leon Russom in 1966 which lasted for four years until they divorced. Her next marriage would come 12 years later in 1982, to James Allen Radford and they had a child together, but that ended in divorce in 1987. In 1991, she married Dr. Scott Sutherland staying together for six years until their divorce was finalized in 1997. During her free time, she works with organizations that help with women who are victims of domestic abuse.

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