Little House On The Prairie Was Jason Bateman’s Acting Debut
Jason Bateman has forged a long career as an actor and director, but his very first gig was a role on classic series Little House On The Prairie.
Little House On The Praire was Jason Bateman’s first TV role. Jason Bateman has been acting for nearly four decades now, with his early career featuring lots of sitcoms such as Silver Spoons and It’s Your Move. Bateman spent six years on sitcom The Hogan Family, which went through some major changes during its early years. It was first titled Valerie as it was a star vehicle for actress Valerie Harper, but after she departed due to a contract dispute it was renamed Valerie’s Family, with her character having died offscreen. The show eventually settled on the title The Hogan Family, with Jason Bateman playing Valerie’s son David for the show’s run.
In 1987 he scored his film movie role with Teen Wolf Too, where he played the cousin of Michael J. Fox’s character from the original. The follow-up turned out to be a disaster, however, with Jason Bateman later stating it was fun to make but not so much to watch. Transitioning from teen idol to adulthood resulted in something of a fallow period for the actor during the 1990s, marked by a lot of TV movies, before things turned around in a big way in the early 2000s.
Going back to the start of Jason Bateman’s career, he kicked off his acting career with the classic series Little House On The Prairie. The show was based on a series of novels by Laura Ingalls Wilder and followed the fortunes of the Ingalls family during the 19th Century. The show starred Michael Landon – who also directed many episodes – and Melissa Gilbert and ultimately ran for nine seasons. Jason Bateman was around 11 when he made his debut during the show’s seventh season.
Little House On The Prairie cast Jason Bateman as Jason Cooper, a boy who alongside his sister Cassandra are left orphaned when their parents are killed in an accident. After Charles and Caroline try to give James and his sister to a relative or have them adopted, they eventually decide to raise them themselves. Bateman’s Little House On The Prairie character met with all kinds of misfortune, including getting caught in a beartrap and he even got shot during a bank robbery, though he soon recovered.
Jason Bateman was on Little House On The Prairie for about 20 episodes, with the series itself soon ending in 1983. There have been many Jason Bateman movies and TV shows since his comeback with Arrested Development in 2003, where he proved himself the ultimate comedy straight man. In addition to successful comedies like Horrible Bosses, he’s also become a talented director, having helmed numerous episodes of Netflix’s Ozark and a couple of episodes of the acclaimed Stephen King adaptation The Outsider.