Can you believe it’s been 36 years since the last episode of our all time favorite series “Little House on the Prairie” aired? What is amazing is that even after so much time, we still feel close to the Ingalls family who treated us with their everyday adventures and made our days a bit more fun back in the day.
Now if you were a fan, you certainly remember Albert Quinn Ingalls who was played by a young Matthew Labyorteaux.
Both Matthew and Albert, whom he played on the series, shared the same fate as they were both adopted. While Albert was adopted by Charles and Caroline Ingalls after going from orphanage to orphanage for a very long time, Matthew was adopted as a 10-month-old baby by actress Frances “Frankie” Marshall and talent agent Ronald Labyorteaux.
Before they welcomed him in, his adoptive parents were told that little Matthew had a hole in his heart that would eventually close all by itself, but they were determined to have him and give him all the love.
Speaking to PEOPLE, Frankie said that her son didn’t walk until he turned three and couldn’t speak until he reached four. ”But they would never acknowledge he was also autistic. He slept standing up in his crib, and when anyone would try to pick him up he would scream and try to get away. I spent months on the floor with Matthew screaming and me holding him down telling him that no matter what he did I would love him.”
The role in the “Little House on the Prairie” was a huge success that put Matthew under the spotlight from a very young age. After the series, he took part in the 1983 made-for-TV movie ”Little House: Look Back to Yesterday” where his character was diagnosed with leukemia, but the viewers never learned what happened to him at the end.
“He never officially died in the episode and I think maybe it’s kind of left up in the air to debate… but it was sort of an unspoken thing that we knew he was going to die,” he said years ago.
As he had his debut on TV at a very young age in a commercial, acting was something that came naturally to this actor.
“I’ve been acting since I was four, so I’m used to being around adults on movie and TV sets. Acting isn’t something I had to learn to like. It’s something I’ve done since I can remember, and I love to do it,” Matthew said in one occasion.
After playing Albert Ingalls, Matthew played different roles in many movies and was nominated twice (1982 and 1983) for a Young Artists Award as Best Young Actor in a Drama Series.
In the movie “Whiz Kids” he played a computer prodigy who solved crimes by braking into computer systems. Matthew was into technology in his real life as well. In fact, in 1982, he became the United States Pac-Man champion.
Today, he’s focused on voice-acting and voice work for video-games. When it comes to his private life, he tends to keep it a secret.
Matthew is as charming as he was back in the day, don’t you think so?