Blanche Hanalis
Blanche Hanalis developed the Laura Ingalls Wilder novel "Little House on the Prairie" for TV, and also contributed as a writer for 117 of the 205 episodes.
Personal Information
Sex/Gender: Female
Born: December 11, 1915
Birthplace: Ohio, U.S.
Died: July 22, 1992(1992-07-22) (aged 76)
Deathplace: Los Angeles, CA, U.S.
Occupation: Author, playwright, screenwriter
Years active: 1955-1988
Series Information
Job on/with series/film: Creator, Screenwriter (LH, 117 episodes)
Appeared on/involved with: Little House on the Prairie: The Pilot (TV film), Little House on the Prairie (TV series) and subsequent TV films

Blanche Hanalis (born December 11, 1915 - died July 22, 1992) was the creator of and then also a staff writer for the NBC-TV series Little House on the Prairie and all of the subsequent made for TV movies based on the original pilot movie Little House on the Prairie: The Pilot which aired on NBC-TV on March 30, 1974, which she developed for TV.

Life and career

Blanche was born in Ohio, but grew up in the Chicago area. According to her daughter, she was an avid writer: “Her first published writing was in high school. She wrote so much of her high school yearbook that the school told her she had to write some of the articles under another name.” [1]

Blanche's writing career started late in life. As she described it, “My husband was a struggling schoolteacher in New York and the day the youngest of my three children started school I pulled out the typewriter on the kitchen table and wrote a television script. I mailed it to the old Philco-Goodyear Playhouse and three days later they called me and said they wanted to produce it. I remember going to the first conference on changes when the script went into production. The producer asked: ‘Anybody want any changes?’ Everyone was silent. He said: ‘Okay, let’s go to lunch.’ It’s been like that almost ever since.” She went on to add, “I called my husband at school and told him they were paying me $2,500 for the script. There was silence on the line. Then he said: ‘Be careful crossing the street.’” [1]

In 1973, Blanche wrote two pilots: “A Tree Grows in Brooklyn”, which was not picked up as a series, and “Little House on the Prairie”, which was picked up and ran for nine seasons on NBC.

The script for the “Little House on the Prairie” pilot closely followed events described in Laura Ingalls Wilder’s third novel and was described by executive producer Ed Friendly as being “…faithfully adapted for the screen by Blanche Hanalis.” [2]

Following their departure from “Little House on the Prairie”, Friendly and Hanalis collaborated on two television movies for ABC – Young Pioneers and Young Pioneers Christmas;;, which were based on the novel Let the Hurricane Roar (later published as "Young Pioneers") by Rose Wilder Lane, Laura Ingalls Wilder’s daughter. Remaining faithful to the spirit of the books, they depicted the courage, perseverance, and tenacity of the pioneers on the Dakota plains.

She continued her prolific career writing television movies, including “A Home of Our Own”, “The Children of An Lac“, “Little Lord Fauntleroy”, “Big Bend Country”, “Camille“, “Christmas Eve“, and “I’ll Be Home for Christmas”.


Blanche died in Los Angeles at the age of 76 after a prolonged illness.


  1. 1.0 1.1 About: Blanche Hanalis.
  2. "Friendly Disassociates Himself From ‘Prairie’.” Los Angeles Times, August 2, 1974.

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