Why ‘Little House on the Prairie’ Star Karen Grassle Divorced Her First Husband

little house on the prairie star Karen Grassle has shared some of the significant events in her life and career. Here’s what she said about her first marriage and why it didn’t last.

Karen Grassle’s first marriage

Karen Grassle | NBCU/NBCUniversal Photo Bank via Getty Images via Getty Images

Grassle met her first husband, Leon Russom, in their early days as stage actors. She says Russom recognized her in a photo and decided to say hello. Grassle says she later found out that Russom said he was going to fall in love with her after seeing her picture.

The newlyweds were trying to make their way and make a name for themselves in the theater. They clicked instantly and became like “two peas in a pod,” Grassle says in her book. Bright lights, prairie dust. The two grew closer and eventually moved in together. Grassle says they were initially afraid to get married, but decided to “take a leap of faith” in 1966 and get married in a courthouse.

Financial problem

” src=”https://www.youtube.com/embed/y2cYLigCDOY?feature=oembed” frameborder=”0″ allow=”accelerometer; automatic reading; clipboard-write; encrypted media; gyroscope; picture in picture” allow full screen>

Grassle and her new husband struggled to make ends meet. At first they lived with a friend, then they took jobs as housekeepers. Grassle describes living in places with “armies of cockroaches” and hearing rodents cavorting on the floor (she was afraid they were rats).

Grassle learned to stretch her money so she and her husband could get through the month. Eventually, Russom got a steady job. However, this did not solve the couple’s money problems.

Why ‘Little House on the Prairie’ Star Karen Grassle Divorced Her First Husband

Grassle says that one day a “wolf” came to their apartment door. The man was a debt collector seeking payment for unpaid bills. Grassle says she was confused and ashamed of the visit. She didn’t understand what was happening. She says she found out later that her husband hadn’t paid the bills. According to her, their bank account was also empty.

Grassle says she was angry with her husband, but her anger didn’t change their financial situation. “We were broke,” she says in her book. It will be a few years before she lands the role of Caroline Ingalls on little house on the prairieso money was tight.

Grassle’s husband took a theater job and she took a fit modeling job so she could help with the bills. However, things suddenly went downhill after Grassle’s husband announced he wanted to move out. She thinks their financial problems have put a strain on their marriage.

Grassle went to Boston to take a theater job. She hoped her husband would reconsider the divorce while he was away. She says her husband showed up in Boston unannounced. He was able to find a theater job there. The two briefly got back together but things started to go wrong again. Grassle says when she went to deposit her check and withdraw money for a train ticket, she discovered there was no money in the account. According to her, all her money had disappeared from the check she had deposited a few weeks earlier for her work in a Broadway show.

This situation caused Grassle to seriously consider divorce. The first time it happened she thought it was a mistake, but the second time Grassle concluded that her husband was not responsible for the money.

“I knew I couldn’t live like this,” she wrote. They separated and briefly reunited a few months later, but Grassle ultimately decided to divorce her husband. She says the straw that broke the camel’s back was when he didn’t contact her for a long time. She said “something snapped” inside her and she decided she had had enough. The couple divorced in 1970.

RELATED: ‘Little House on the Prairie’: Karen Grassle says Michael Landon got close to her during rehearsal

Follow Sheiresa Ngo on Twitter.

Comments are closed.