Hersha Parady, who played the role of Alice Garvey, the schoolteacher in Little House in the Prairie for three seasons, passed away at the age of 78. Her character’s storyline on the show had a sad and memorable ending for the show’s fans.
Hersha Parady took her last breath at her son Jonathan Peverall’s house in Norfolk, Virginia. He informed The Hollywood Reporter that she had been struggling with a brain tumor. To assist with the costs, he created a GoFundMe page.
Parady and ex-NFL player Merlin Olsen were first shown as a married couple named Alice and Jonathan Garvey on the TV show “Little House in the Prairie.” The show was created by Michael Landon. This happened in the opening episode of season four, called “Castoffs,” which aired in September 1977.
Parady rose to fame through role in Little House on the Prairie
Hersha Parady became famous because of her acting in “Little House on the Prairie.” She was almost chosen to play Caroline Ingalls in the show, but that role was given to Karen Grassle. However, she later joined the show in the third season as Eliza Ingalls, who is Charles Ingalls’ sister-in-law.
Hersha Parady became a part of Little House on the Prairie in the late 1970s, specifically in season 4. She played the character named Garvey. She continued acting on the show for 35 episodes until her character’s story took a sad turn. In a schoolhouse fire, her character tried to rescue a baby and faced a dramatic ending.
Life and career of Hersha Parady
Born in Ohio, Hersha Parady was originally named Betty Sandhoff. She really loved acting since she was young. Instead of playing with dolls, she enjoyed using her imagination. After finishing high school at Berea High School in 1963, Hersha Parady followed her passion for acting.
Hersha Parady had a career where she acted in different TV shows like Mannix, Unsolved Mysteries, and Second Noah. She was also in movies like The Break and Courage. Before coming to Los Angeles, she performed in local theatres. She was recognized for her work both on TV and in real life.
Hersha Parady was married to John Peverall, a producer who won the important Best Picture Oscars in 1979 for his role in The Dear Hunter. During her final years, she lived with her son Jonathan and her brothers and sisters named Patty, Kenny, and Bobby.
Remembering the best scenes from Little House on the Prairie
During a time when it was rare for main actors in TV shows to be written out, Hersha Parady’s character Alice Garvey faced such a situation. In a free at school for the Blind in Walnut Grove, Alice met this tragic end. The fire started by accident when a young character named Albert Ingalls discarded a lit pipe in the basement. Sadly, the fire took the lives of a number of people, including Alice, the teacher, and the baby son, Mary Ingalls Kendall.
The part where Alice, played by Parady, tries to break a strong school window while holding the baby becomes a famous TV urban legend. People started believing that Michael Landon, who made the show, tricked Parady by using a real, unbreakable window instead of the usual fake glass that is easy to break in such scenes.
Even though the story about Landon’s prank is not true, the strong widow did make Parady work harder to escape. This created the image of the schoolteacher using the baby like a battering ram, which fans often still talk about, even though it is not what really happened.