Beloved ‘Little House on the Prairie’ Actress Dies at 78

Hersha Parady, a beloved actress recognized for her role in the television series “Little House on the Prairie,” has passed away at the age of 78. Her son, Jonathan Peverall, confirmed her passing, which occurred at his residence in Norfolk, Virginia. Prior to her death, Parady had been battling a brain tumor known as meningioma, a condition more commonly found in women and often diagnosed in later life stages, according to the Mayo Clinic.

In the weeks leading up to her death, Peverall had initiated a GoFundMe campaign to help offset the escalating medical costs associated with his mother’s care. His hope was that the funds raised would enhance her quality of life and provide the necessary support during this challenging period. He emphasized that the campaign was also a way to show his mother that she was not alone in her fight against the illness.

Peverall described the devastating impact of the illness on his mother, stating that it had stolen her strength, memory, and vibrant personality. He shared the difficulty of witnessing his once lively and energetic mother struggle with basic daily tasks. The family made the decision to move Parady from her home in Los Angeles to Virginia to ensure she received the necessary medical care. However, the costs associated with her care, including moving expenses, in-home nursing, and medical equipment, were substantial.

Despite the financial burden, Peverall reassured supporters that they were providing the best care possible for his mother and would continue to do so, regardless of the funds raised. In his final update on the GoFundMe page, he shared that Parady had undergone successful surgery but developed pneumonia during her recovery and was subsequently readmitted to the hospital.

Parady’s acting career began after her graduation from Berea High School in 1963. She performed at the Cleveland Play House and in regional theater before moving to Los Angeles. There, she landed a role opposite Jon Voight in a production of “A Streetcar Named Desire.” She made her on-screen debut in an episode of “Bearcats!” before joining “Little House on the Prairie” in its fourth season in 1977. Parady’s character, Alice Garvey, was introduced alongside former NFL star Merlin Olsen, who played her on-screen husband, Jonathan Garvey. She remained on the popular NBC series until her character’s death in season 6.

She is survived by her son and her siblings Patty, Kenny, and Bobby.