US actress Hersha Parady, best known for Little House on the Prairie, has died aged 78.
She died in Virginia on August 23, following surgery last month for the brain cancer meningioma.
Parady played Walnut Grove schoolteacher and Ingalls Family friend Alice Garvey, from 1977-1980. She was up for the part of Caroline Ingalls but made her first appearance on the show during the third season.
Infamously, in a sixth-season episode Alice races into the School for the Blind, which has caught fire, to save some children inside, including Mary and Adam’s (Melissa Sue Anderson, Linwood Boomer) infant son.
Alice finds the baby and tries to break through an upstairs bedroom window to escape, but both wind up perishing in the blaze.
Some viewers thought Parady had used the doll that stood in for the infant as a “battering ram.” It would later give rise to a TV urban legend that series creator Michael Landon pranked Parady by substituting an unbreakable window for the standard fake, easily shattered glass typically used in such scenes.
Parady would remark, “In spite of the impending doom it would bring – at least I went out with a roar and not a whimper! Working with the special effects guys and the LA fire department was a first for me, and to be surrounded by ‘controlled’ fire and readied fire extinguishers, I was ready to act up a storm! I loved every minute of it!”
In a Facebook post Alison Arngrim, who played the troublemaking Nellie Oleson wrote, “Our wild, untameable, talented Hersha has left us. Rest in power.”
Her other credits included The Phoenix, Unsolved Mysteries, Mannix and The Waltons.