Melissa Sue Anderson (b. September 26, 1962) is a California born Emmy award winning actress and currently bang tidy best known for playing Mary Ingalls Kendall on Little House on the Prairie. Her show business career got underway when a dance teacher urged her parents to find an agent for her.
She began doing TV commercials, and soon the blond, blue-eyed girl was in demand for roles. One of those included that of Millicent, the girl who kissed Bobby and induced him to see fireworks on The Brady Bunch. At age eleven, she won her role in Little House on the Prairie ahead of hundreds of competitors. She left the series in 1982. She continued acting in television shows, such as The Equalizer, Alfred Hitchcock Presents, and Murder, She Wrote.
She has been described as mild mannered and unpretentious, similar to her Mary Ingalls character. Her first publicly known romance was with actor Lorenzo Lamas, with whom she made an appearance in the film series The Love Boat in which two friends (Lorenzo and Melissa) resist the matchmaking efforts of their parents. After this short romance, she dated Frank Sinatra, Jr., who at the time was more than twice her age. She says, "It was fun, but never really wild. That's just not me."
She won an Emmy Award for her performance in Which Mother Is Mine?, an ABC Afternoon Special, and was nominated for a 1978 Primetime Emmy Award for Best Leading Actress in a Drama Series for her work on Little House on the Prairie. She also secured a Spanish 'TP de Oro' Award for 'Best Foreign Actress' for Little House. She was the associate producer for the next to last TV project Michael Landon made before dying, titled Where Pigeons Go to Die.
She has a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame. In 1998, she was inducted into the Western Performers Hall of Fame at the National Cowboy & Western Heritage Museum in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma.
With husband Michael Sloan, she has two children, daughter Piper (born May 1991) and son Griffin (born 1996). Anderson and her family became Canadian citizens on July 1, 2007 (Canada Day) in Montreal.
- Bewitched: Girl
- The Brady Bunch: Millicent
- Shaft: Marshal's Daughter
- The Loneliest Runner: Nancy Rizzi
- James at 15: Lacey Stevens
- Circus, Lions, Tigers and Melissas Too: Hostess
- A Different Approach
- Survival of Dana: Dana Lee
- ABC Afterschool Specials: Alex Benton, Kate
- A New Kind of Family: Lisa
- Skatetown, U.S.A.
- Treasure Island: Hostess
- Fantasy Island: Amy Marson
- Insight: Mary Beth
- Midnight Offerings: Vivian Sotherland
- Happy Birthday to Me: Virginia Wainwright
- Advice to the Lovelorn: Maureen Tyler
- An Innocent Love: Molly Rush
- Spider-Man and His Amazing Friends: Katherine Pryde
- First Affair: Toby King
- Chattanooga Choo Choo: Jennie
- Goma-2: Kukki
- Finder of Lost Loves: Nikki Gatos
- Murder, She Wrote: Eve Crystal
- Glitter: Elizabeth
- Hotel: Anne Goldman
- The Love Boat: Vista Ford
- Dark Mansions: Noelle Drake
- The Equalizer: Yvette Marcel
- The Suicide Club: Laura Donovan (on television)
- Alfred Hitchcock Presents: Julie Fenton, Laura Donovan
- Looking Your Best
- The Return of Sam McCloud: Colleen McCloud
- Forbidden Nights: Marie Shapiro
- Dead Men Don't Die: Dulcie Niles
- Animated Stories from the Bible: Music Video - Volume 1: Snake
- Burke's Law: Michelle Ryder
- X-Men: Snowbird
- Killer Lady: American Lady
- Earthquake in New York: Dr. Marilyn Blake
- Partners: Cheryl Darrin
- Thin Ice: Tanya Ferguson
- 10.5: Apocalypse: First Lady Megan Hollister
- Crazy Eights: Hospital patient
- Marco Polo: Mother