Little House on the Prairie’s Hersha Parady Dead at 78

Hersha Parady, best known to TV audiences as Walnut Grove schoolteacher Alice Garvey on NBC’s Little House on the Prairie, died Wednesday at the age of 78.

According to a GoFundMe page set up by her son Jonathan Peverall, Parady was battling a brain tumor. She underwent surgery in July, then developed pneumonia while in recovery.

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Peverall told The Hollywood Reporter that his mother died at his Norfolk, Va. home.

Parady was originally up for the role of Little House’s Caroline Ingalls, which ultimately went to Karen Grassle. She first appeared in a Season 3 episode not as Alice, but as Charles’ sister-in-law Eliza.

Alice and her husband Jonathan (played by former NFL star Merlin Olsen) arrived in Little House‘s Season 4 premiere, which aired Sept. 12, 1977. She’d appear in 33 more episodes through Season 6.

In the memorable two-hour installment “May We Make Them Proud,” which aired Feb. 4, 1980, Alice perished in a fire at the School for the Blind as she attempted to rescue Mary and Adam’s infant son.

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Parady’s previous credits included episodes of Mannix, Bearcats! and The Waltons. She kept a relatively low profile after Little House, and last appeared in three episodes of Nickelodeon’s Kenan & Kel as Principal Dimly between 1997 and 1998.

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