Karen Grassle Biography

Biography by Published on Updated on 05.Dec.2017
Facts of Karen Grassle
Date of Birth: 1942 , February-25
Age:76 years old
Birth Nation: United States of America
NameKaren Grassle
Birth NameKaren Trust Grassle
FatherGene Grassle
Birth Place/CityBerkeley
Net Worth$500 thousand
Eye ColorLight brown
Hair ColorDrack brown
Face ColorWhite
Married toScott T. Sutherland (m. 1999)
ChildrenLily Radford
DivorceScott T. Sutherland (div.2000)
EducationUniversity of California, Berkeley, Ventura High School
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American actress, Karen Grassle is known for her portrayal of Caroline Ingalls, the mother of Melissa Gilbert, in the American western drama television series, Little House on the Prairie with Melissa Gilbert, Michael Landon and others.

Grassle has married three times till date. However, all her marriages ended in divorce.

Early Life and Education

Karen Grassle was born Karen Trust Grassle on 25th February in 1942 in Berkeley, California, U.S. She belongs to white-American ethnicity and holds American nationality.

Grassle was born to Gene Grassle who ran a gas station and Charlotte Quiner, a restaurant owner. She was known as the miracle child in her family because her mother had four miscarriages before her.

Grassle went to Ventura High School and joined Sophie Newcomb College and the University of California, Berkeley later. In 1965, she graduated with two BA degrees, one in Dramatic Art and another in English. She then got a scholarship from the Royal Academy of Dramatic Art in London.


Karen Grassle began her professional acting career from the theater. She then added television and movies to her career credits in the early 70s, with appearances on "Love of Life" and "Gunsmoke."

Grassle auditioned for the role of Caroline Ingalls in American western drama television series, Little House on the Prairie and won the part. The series ran for nine years, from 1974-1983.

She then portrayed Kathy, the wife of Edward Hermann in 1981 American comedy film, Harry’s War alongside Edward Hermann, Geraldine Page and others.

After the series ( LHOTP) ended, Grassle moved to Santa Fe, New Mexico and became the co-founder of Santa Fe’s resource theater Company. A year later, she again moved to the Louisville, Kentucky where she worked with the company actors at Actors Theatre.

In 1994, Grassle appeared in American semi-biographical Western film, Wyatt Earp, starring Dennis Quaid, Gene Hackman, and Mark Harmon among others.

In 2006, Grassle performed in an American comedy-drama film, Driving Miss Daisy starring as Miss Daisy at Manitoba Theatre Centre in Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada.

In August of 2008, she signed as the promotional face for Premier Bathrooms, a supplier of bathing products for the elderly and infirm.

Personal Life

Karen Grassle has married three times in her entire life, and each marriage ended in a divorce. She first married American actor, Leon Russom but they divorced in 1969.

Grassle's second marriage was to James Alan Radford on 25th April 1982. She has a daughter, Lily Kathleen from her second marriage. Grassle's second marriage ended in a divorce in 1987.

In 1991, Grassle married Dr. Scott T. Sutherland and divorced after nine years, in 2000

Net worth

American actress, Karen Grassle has an estimated net worth $500 thousand. She has made a good amount of money from her acting career. 

IMDB has rated the television series, Little House on the Prairie  7.4 out of 10  and TV.COM has rated 8.8 out of 10. Grassle made most of her money from the series.