Katherine MacGregor, ‘Little House on the Prairie’ Actress, Dies at 93

Actress played Harriet Oleson on the NBC drama

Katherine MacGregor, the actress who portrayed Harriet Oleson for six seasons on “Little House on the Prairie” has died at the age of 93.

According to the Associated Press, MacGregor’s attorney Tony Sears said the actress died on Tuesday at the Motion Picture and Television Fund retirement community in Los Angeles.

Born Dorlee Deane McGregor, the California-born actress was best known for starring on NBC’s adaptation of the “Little House” book series by Laura Ingalls Wilder for nine seasons between 1974 and 1983. Her general store owner’s wife character Harriet Oleson was famously petty, gossipy and cruel.

Melissa Gilbert, who starred in the series as a young version of Ingalls Wilder, paid tribute to MacGregor on Instagram. She called her former co-star “outspoken and hilariously funny” and praised her ability to “play a despicable character but with so much heart.”

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I just got word that Katherine MacGregor passed away yesterday. This woman taught me so much… about acting… vintage jewelry… life. 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. The thing people outside of our prairie family didn’t know, was how loving and nurturing she was with the younger cast. 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. Farewell Scottie. I hope with all my heart we meet again next time.

A post shared by Melissa Gilbert (@melissaellengilbertbusfield) on

“The thing people outside of our prairie family didn’t know, was how loving and nurturing she was with the younger cast,” Gilbert wrote. “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.”