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‘Little House on the Prairie’ This Cast Member Was ‘Gentlemanly’ and ‘Had a Light Touch’ Says Karen Grassle

Karen Grassle formed close friendships with her co-stars on the set of Little House on the Prairie. Grassle says one cast member was “gentlemanly” and “had a light touch.” Here’s the co-star she says had a gentle spirit and strong work ethic.

Karen Grassle says she went out of her way to be welcoming

Grassle made an effort to get to know the Little House on the Prairie cast members. In her book Bright Lights, Prairie Dust, she says she felt it was important to welcome the new cast members and make them comfortable since she was the show’s “leading lady.” Grassle believed it was her responsibility. She felt almost like she was “the hostess of a party.”  

Grassle says she tried to treat everyone equally regardless of their role in the cast or crew. She recalls her first lunch on the set of Little House on the Prairie. Her instinct was to get in line with everyone else and wait until it was her turn. However, the assistant director escorted her to the front of the line so she could be served first. Grassle was embarrassed because she was not used to putting herself before others. She quickly learned things were done differently on this set.

Grassle says she learned “respect for labor” and didn’t want to appear “snooty” or “more deserving,” so she initially waited her turn. Once she got her lunch, Grassle says she sat down with some of the crew, but when she said hello and took her seat, she noticed they “clammed up.” She wanted to be welcoming but noticed those who were not part of the main cast didn’t seem comfortable around the stars of the show.

Karen Grassle said this cast member was ‘gentlemanly’

Grassle says her co-star Dabbs Greer was “gentlemanly.” She was impressed when she first met Greer, who played Revered Robert Alden on Little House on the Prairie. She says his character led the members of Walnut Grove “in sermons with simple morals.”

Grassle describes Greer as “a large man from Missouri” with a soft voice. She says his Southern accent is what made his voice soft and welcoming. She thought he was perfect for the role of a reverend because he was very kind in real life. Grassle says Greer was so kind that this quality “emanated” from him. She says whenever he was on the set, she felt happy. “He was so warm and gentlemanly and had such a light touch,” she says in her book.

Grassle also admired Greer’s work ethic. She says he consistently delivered “clean” work. According to her, he was always prompt and carried out his job with precision.

Dabbs Geer’s movies and TV shows

One of Greer’s early roles was in the 1939 movie Jessie James. In 1949, he appeared in the movie Reign of Terror. His first television role was in the series Dick Tracy in 1950. From 1950 to 1954, Greer starred in Fireside Theatre. Other than Little House on the Prairie, Greer is best known for his role in Gunsmoke. He played the characters Jonas and Joe Bean from 1956 to 1974.

Some of Greer’s other acting roles include appearances in The Green Mile, Picket Fences, The F.B.I., and Bonanza. His final television appearance was in the TV series Lizzie McGuire. Greer died in 2007 at the age of 90.

RELATED: ‘Little House on the Prairie’: This Co-Star Was Such an ‘Introvert’ That Karen Grassle Didn’t Get to Know Him

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