All right, this is insane, and I KNOW it. And yet… and yet this question haunts me. I used to watch “Little House on the Prairie” reruns obsessively, and I realized that I didn’t know the answer to one mystery: what was the fate of Carrie Ingalls on the show?? I know what happened to Laura and Mary, and I also remember all those other kids they adopted, but when it comes to Carrie, it’s as if someone wiped a sponge over my mind. PLEASE help me with this. What the plotlines that involved her? Where did she end up? What happened???
I didn’t watch the show often, but here’s what happened to the real Carrie:
“Carrie, after graduating from high school, worked for the local newspaper. This is where she learned the printing and publishing trade. Her career as a pioneer newspaperman eventually extended to many papers in western South Dakota. Carrie tried homesteading and proved to be successful as she proved up her claim. She met and married David Swanzey in 1912 in Keystone, South Dakota. David was a widower with two small children. Carrie helped to raise his children but they never had children of their own. Carrie died in 1946 at the age of 76 and is buried in the De Smet cemetery.”
The reason you can’t remember is probably because Carrie’s character got the shaft on the show. First they added Albert, then Cassandra and James, and Carrie was all but forgotten in the story lines. She might have been in a scene, but had very few lines and never really had stories of her own as she got older.
As pinkfreud already noted, Carrie was actually quite a successful writer herself. In fact, she was successful before her sister was.
Well there was that unfortunate incident at the Prom…
Obviously, that was how Carrie got revenge for being written out of the show.
That would explain it, though… why I have no memory of what happened to her in the TV version. Poor, poor Carrie. Luckily, it sounds like the real Carrie Ingalls had a much more interesting life-- to be honest, it sounds better than the way Laura’s life turned out.
I don’t think it was revenge so much. This was the American frontier- you were bound to get pig blood on you sooner or later.
I don’t think it was revenge so much as happen-so. This was the American frontier- you were bound to get pig blood on you sooner or later.
You’d think the Ingalls genetics would have thrived. Alas, they all seemed to have played out the line once Rose Wilder Lane died w/o children.
Moderator comment: I have edited the thread title to reflect WHICH Carrie you mean. There’s a buncha them. The more specific a thread title, the more relevant the comments you’ll get back.
Does anyone else remember being told that baby Carrie part was played by twin boys?
Yes, Rose Wilder Lane’s only child was a son who was either a late miscarriage, a stillborn, or who died shortly after birth.
However, one of her father’s brothers married one of her mother’s sisters, and one of her father’s sisters married one of her mother’s brothers, and both marriages have living descendants.
So what happened to baby Grace? I only read the first novel, and I watched the show for much of its run, until I realized, around age 12, that I wasn’t watching a historical drama, but instead a nighttime soap opera. Yeah, I feel dumb … now.
What happens to them is what always happens when a baby grows up. They get ignored. The whole point of baby Carrie and baby Grace is for them to be inarticulate – its often referred to as “Grown Up out of Cuteness” but that’s not the whole story. They’re needed to provide conflict by not being able to speak. Once they can speak, they’re co-stars, and there’s only so much plotline that can be worked into a season.
When baby Grace arrived, right on schedule, it was never as obvious. At least, not until Seven of Married with Children arrived.
“Hey Ron, we wrote a buncha “new kid” jokes. But we’re not having a baby anymore. Nowwhat?”
“I’ll add a child star, until we burn up those jokes. See if Bobcat Goldthaiwt and Linda Blar are free for cameos”
“Spoofing the trope. Brilliant”
“What’s a trope?”
Wait, what? You’re referring to Rose’s parents Laura and Almanzo? Laura had no living brothers, and none of her sisters married a Wilder.
Twin girls, Lindsay and Sidney Greenbush. Twins are often used to portray very young children in TV due to child labor laws.
Not Rose’s parents, Laura’s. Charles Ingalls and Caroline Quiner had several siblings who intermarried.
I think they were what happened to Carrie.
I didn’t watch the show much. The truth was that I didn’t like it, so I tried to avoid it, but several of my friends were in love with it, so I ended up seeing it quite a bit, especially once it was on afternoon reruns.
When the Greenbushes got a little older, the scriptwriters tried giving them more to do, but it turned out they couldn’t act; they’d been cast merely because they were twins who looked vaguely like they could be related to the rest of the family. I seem to recall one awful episode that focused on Carrie, and used both girls, because Carrie fantasizes having a doppleganger, or something. It was bad even for this show. It made you long for Melissa Gilbert’s scenery chewing and Michael Landon’s mugging for the camera. This was shortly before other kids were introduced into the story, and Carrie faded into the background. With little enough for one actress to do, they probably stopped appearing in every episode (my sense of continuity is a little sketchy). They may have even done most of their filming in blocks. You know, all the “Carrie” stuff for the first half of the season in the first two weeks, then they could be released until after the winter holidays, and no one had to worry about keeping social workers and tutors on the set for them.
Why? It seems to me that Charles Ingalls repeatedly took risks that didn’t pan out for him.