Playing a character like "Ma Ingalls" wasn't as easy as Karen Grassle made it look. She had to play this 1880's praire woman who was reserved, oat-meal-scrubbed and God-fearing. But also fiesty, elegant and smart. No small feat!
It took such a unique actress to pull off such a multi-dimensional character. I think she made the character of "Ma" so uniquely her own that if casting directors were to cast such a chararcter again, they would say something like, "We need a 'Karen Grassle' type for this!" From what I've read about her, she is exceptionally intelligent - skipping grades in school, receiving two BA degrees from Berkely and receiving a scholarship to the Royal Acedmy of Dramatic Art in London. I think some people were a little too quick to dismiss Grassle as a leading lady because she never came across as stilted, self-aware, or decadent.
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