Hersha Parady, actress of The Ingalls Family, died at age 78

The interpreter had serious health problems and the information was confirmed by her son.

Hersha Parady, widely recognized for her participation in the iconic series Little House on the Prairie, died at the age of 78 due to a brain tumor. The news of her passing shocked both fans of the series and the arts community at large.

The actress, whose real name was Betty Sandhoff, was born on May 25, 1945 in Berea, Ohio, and from a young age showed an interest in acting, participating in theatrical productions in her hometown. After graduating in 1963, she moved to Los Angeles in search of greater opportunities in show business. There, one of her first prominent roles was opposite Jon Voight in a touring production of A Streetcar Named Desire.

Parady began her television career with special appearances on Mannix, Bearcats! and The Waltons. However, it was her role in The Ingalls Family that catapulted her to fame. The series, which aired on NBC from 1974 to 1983, chronicled the life of a family in the Midwestern United States during the 19th century.

After casting before the start of the series, she had been one of the names that most sounded to play Caroline Ingalls, although that role was finally left in the hands of Karen Grassle. However, already begun the shipment, she had a participation in an episode of 1976, Journey in the spring, in which she played Eliza Anne Ingalls, Charles’ sister-in-law. For the following season it would come her turn to play Alice Garvey, which she does in the best way in 35 episodes, and whose character is remembered for her tragic death in a fire at the School for the Blind, accidentally caused by Albert Ingalls.

That kind of denouement was unusual for the main characters at the time, and in that respect the actress used to refer to her last episode as her favorite. “Despite the impending doom it would bring, at least I went out with a roar and not a whimper,” she would recall in an interview. “It was my first time working with the special effects technicians and Los Angeles firefighters, and being surrounded by controlled fire and fire extinguishers at the ready, I was ready to act like a crazy person! I loved every minute of it,” she would express excitedly.

Throughout her career, she also participated in other television and film productions, such as Kenan & Kel, The Phoenix and The Search.

The news of her death was confirmed by her son, Jonathan Peverall -the fruit of her relationship with Oscar-winning producer John Peverall- who revealed that the actress died at her home in Norfolk, Virginia. In recent months, Parady faced serious health problems. She was diagnosed with a meningioma, a type of brain tumor. Despite undergoing successful surgery, her health deteriorated rapidly, developing pneumonia during her recovery.

Peverall recently shared in a GoFundMe campaign the plight of her mother, describing how the disease had affected her quality of life. The campaign sought to raise funds to cover the actress’ medical and care expenses.

Her friend and castmate on the series Alison Arngrim (who in more than a hundred episodes played the Oleson couple’s eldest daughter) wrote some heartfelt words about the loss in a post she shared on her Facebook profile in which she said, “Our wild, indomitable and talented Hersha has left us. Rest in peace.”

Hersha Parady’s departure left a void in the entertainment world. Her legacy, however, lives on in the memories of those who enjoyed her on-screen talent.

Categorized in: