Twins, twins, and more twins. That’s the number of twins on Little House on the Prairie. Carrie twins, Grace twins, and Rose twins. One of the most common questions I get is why are twins used on television anyway?
The answer is simple—child labor laws restrict the number of hours a child can work, even more so with infants and toddlers. The extra hours also allow some leeway for cranky or sick kids, and those more than necessary nap times.
The countdown to Walnut Grove continues this week with our featured cast member, Sidney Greenbush. I am very excited to join Sidney for the 45th anniversary taking place July 12-14.
On Little House on the Prairie, the character of Carrie Ingalls—played by Lindsey and Sidney Greenbush, was one of the first sets of twins being used at the time. They started with the pilot at three years of age and went straight through season eight, turning eleven years old. Virtually their entire childhood took place on a sound stage or on location at Big Sky Ranch.
When we were young, Lindsey and Sidney were our big sisters. We loved hanging out with another set of twins. They were the only others twins we knew and you wouldn’t believe the attention we would get! Double twins, double the trouble.
Of all the cast members, Sidney is definitely a real cowgirl. Sidney lives in central California where she shows, trains, breeds, and sells American quarter horses. She’s known on the pro-rodeo circuit as a barrel racing champion. That’s amazing, right?
I could learn a few things from Sidney, horses aren’t exactly my cup of tea.
I’m scared to death of the galloping animals after a boyfriend in high school took me riding on the beach. I never figured out how to make that horse listen to me. I was at its mercy, tearing down the beach after all the other horses—me holding on for dear life. Since then, I’ve kept my distance.
But Sidney, she eats, sleeps, and breathes horses. I’m thoroughly impressed.
Unfortunately, I’ve only attended a few events with Sidney—Holy Terror Days in Keystone, SD in 2009 and the 40th Cast Reunion in Walnut Grove in 2014. But I’m sure the twin questions will continue as they always do, and this year especially since our sisters are not attending the reunion.
Regardless of the time spent together, we have a special bond—all twins understand what it’s like to be a twin. Perhaps no one quite knows us the way our twin sisters do. And we wouldn’t be who we are without them. Twins have to endure the endless question, “Which twin are you?”
For Sidney and myself, we get non-stop questions from fans asking about Little House. Sidney gets… “Were you the one who … tripped on the hill, got trapped in the outhouse, and fell down the well?” For me it’s always, “Did you kiss the boy and which one of you didn’t want to eat from Pa?”
It takes real humility to share a role–not that we had a choice, but as adults it’s this part of our lives that isn’t completely our own. We can’t take credit for anything–our character is the result of two people.
And maybe that’s the best part of being a twin on television. We can’t get big in the head or make great claims. God graced us to be a twin and that gift gave us the opportunity to join the Little House cast family. What a blessing!
I’m thrilled to join my television sister, and fellow twin, Sidney Greenbush in Walnut Grove this summer!
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