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Q & A with actress Pamela Roylance

Pamela Roylance appeared in 15 episodes of “Little House on the Prairie,” along with two ‘Little House’ TV movies, as Sarah Carter. According to a description of her character on, “Sarah runs the town newspaper and won’t put up with gossip.”

Her many other acting credits include 75 episodes of “Days of Our Lives.”

Ms. Roylance and a number of other original cast members of ‘Little House’ and “The Waltons” are scheduled to take part in the first North Alabama Christmas Market, set for this weekend (Saturday and Sunday, Dec. 3-4) in Rogersville.

[Previously: Q & A with ‘Little House’ actress Charlotte Stewart]

The following (below the picture) is a Q & A with Ms. Roylance:

What prompted you to audition for “Little House on the Prairie”?
From childhood, I dreamed of becoming a professional actor and studied acting throughout high school and college. For years I had performed in local commercials, stage plays, and educational films in Portland, Oregon. But it was in my third year of teaching high school, when I felt compelled and committed to move to Los Angeles to further the growth of my on-camera acting career. I packed my car and left town with the support and blessings of my family, and with the plan in my head and heart to get on “Little House on the Prairie,” “The Waltons,” “Eight is Enough,” or anything Walt Disney.

You can imagine my delight when my agent called with an audition to be a series regular on the 9th season of ‘Little House’! Since I had been working at a chocolate factory after arriving in L.A., and had a ‘pack a box, eat a box’ philosophy, I needed to lose a bit of weight of the part, but that is a story for another time. Suffice it to say, I did what was needed in the short amount of time allotted, and after a series of five or six rounds of auditions, I won the role of Sarah Carter.

Are you anything like the character you played?
Oh, yes, indeed! I am very much like Sarah Carter. In fact, the reason I dreamed of working on a show like ‘Little House’ was because I thought it was “me”… the me I feel most comfortable being in the world. My mother’s family was from Kansas, the heart of the country. I felt comfortable in ‘prairie shoes’ and old-fashioned mentality. It was the manners, the caring, the simplicity, and civility of a time gone by that I longed for in our contemporary world. I guess I left one foot in a past generation.

What is the main thing you’ve done since the show ended?
I have never stopped, and I am quite certain will never stop acting. It’s like the game of golf. You can do it until you drop (or until you can’t remember lines or swing a 9-iron.) Age is not a qualifier. I have continued booking commercials, film and television roles, interspersed with an occasional role in a stage play. It never seems to be enough to satisfy the ‘actor appetite,’ but my turn comes round intermittently, usually about the time I’m considering getting on the bus and going back home.

In regard to your life, what do you feel your legacy is?
That’s a work in progress, but in a word, I’d say Kindness. My mother was known for her kindness, and I always wanted to grow up to be just like her. I’m still growin,g but I have come to discover that living in kindness is my happy place.

Did you watch the show?
Yes, I did. I remember countless days coming home after teaching school and watching late afternoon ‘Little House’ reruns before I’d start grading papers.

How do you think playing your character affected your life? Are there any regrets?
No regrets. I don’t think this role changed any of my philosophies or way of being in the world because I’m like-minded and in lockstep with Sarah. Had she been real, we would have been friends. But playing the role did have a long-lasting impact on my life. It changed the trajectory of my career and gave me a much-needed boost to my self-esteem.

What was your favorite episode(s)?
My favorite episode was “The Last Summer” by Duke Sandefur. I cried when I read it and each time I watched it. Our guest star was Vera Miles, and I was honored to share a couple of scenes with her.

What do you like most about meeting your fans at events like the North Alabama Christmas Market?
I love hearing their stories of why the show means something to them. Sometimes the impact is life changing. One woman told us she wanted her husband to sit down and watch the show with her every week. He didn’t like the show, but he wanted to help her quit drinking. He told her he would sit down with her once a month and watch with her if she stayed sober all month. She said the show saved her life. It doesn’t get much better than that.

Visit North Alabama Christmas Market on Facebook for complete details, updates and ‘breakfast/dinner with the cast’ & early-bird tickets. 

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