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Karl Swenson as Lars Hanson

Then: Town elder Lars, the owner of the local mill that employed Charles, was also the founder of Walnut Grove. He became very sick and his heart was broken when the townsfolk abandoned their homes when Walnut Grove went bankrupt, and despite a brief recovery when they eventually returned, he died a few months later.

Now: Swenson, who had played Eddie Haskell’s father on Leave It to Beaver, suffered a fatal heart attack at age 70 in October 1978, shortly after he filmed his final episode of Little House, Season 5’s “There’s No Place Like Home (Part 2).”

(Credit: Getty Images)

'Little House on the Prairie' Cast: Where Are They Now?

Kimberly Potts
Writer, Yahoo Entertainment

The drama marked its 40th anniversary last year, and a new Little House on the Prairie: The Complete Series Deluxe Remastered Edition DVD box set has just been released. But we don’t need a special occasion to look back on the stars of the classic NBC drama that brought Laura Ingalls Wilder’s beloved books to TV. The story of the Ingalls family’s trials and triumphs on the prairie continue to be a viewer favorite, and here’s what happened to the unforgettable cast after the 1974-83 series ended its run in TV land.

Little House on the Prairie: The Complete Series Deluxe Remastered Edition is now available on DVD from Lionsgate Home Entertainment.