Little House on the Prairie Actress Hersha Parady Dies at 78

Hersha Parady, who played schoolteacher Alice Garvey on the beloved TV show Little House on the Prairie, has died at age 78. Her son Jonathan said she passed away peacefully at home in Norfolk, Virginia on Wednesday. She had been battling a brain tumor.

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Hersha Parady joined Little House in 1977 as Alice, wife of Jonathan Garvey played by Merlin Olsen. Fans were heartbroken when her character died in a tragic fire while trying to save a baby in 1980. It was an emotional episode viewers never forgot.

Born in 1945 as Betty Sandhoff, Hersha Parady knew from a young age she wanted to be an actress. After college she moved to LA and got small roles in shows like Gunsmoke and The Waltons. She first appeared on Little House in 1976 as another character before becoming Alice.

Even after Little House ended, Parady kept acting in shows and movies over the years. She lived a full life doing what she loved. Her son and siblings were with her in her final days. She will be missed by her family, friends and all the fans she touched over her long career.

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Though her time on Little House was short, Parady made Alice an unforgettable character. Her brave attempt to save that baby remains one of the most heartbreaking moments in the show’s history. Parady brought sincerity and spirit to Alice that made viewers care deeply. That kind of acting comes from a good heart.