Little House on the Prairie Actress Katherine MacGregor Dead at 93


Actress Katherine MacGregor, best known to TV audiences for her role as town gossiper Harriet Oleson on the long-running family drama Little House on the Prairie, has died at the age of 93.

According to The Hollywood Reporter, MacGregor died on Tuesday at the Motion Picture and Television Fund’s retirement home in Los Angeles. Little House star Melissa Gilbert (Laura Ingalls Wilder) eulogized her former castmate in a touching Instagram post.

“This woman taught me so much,” Gilbert said. “She was outspoken and hilariously funny. A truly gifted actress as she was able to play a despicable character but with so much heart. Her Harriet Oleson was the woman our fans loved to hate. A perfect antagonist… I really loved her and I find great comfort knowing that she is at peace and, per her beliefs, her soul has moved on to its next incarnation.”

MacGregor appeared in all nine seasons of Little House. She reportedly missed the NBC western’s 1984 series finale — the TV-movie The Last Farewell — because she was on pilgrimage in India.

Before her nine-year run on Little House, MacGregor’s TV credits included guest-starring and bit roles on such series as Mannix, Emergency! and Ironside. Prior to that, she acted on Broadway, off Broadway and in regional theatre in and around New York City.