Not many shows can say they lasted a decade and over 200 episodes, but the TV adaption of the book Little House on the Prairie is one of them. The American drama about Midwest life in the late 1800s was loved by audiences, so much so that three TV movies followed in later years. The show had star power with old pros Michael Landon, Melissa Gilbert, and Karen Grassle.
The show had plenty of child actors on board, and newcomer Matthew Labyorteaux was one to watch. Playing one of the children on the hit show must have been a dream come true for the kid, but his time on the prairie was done before he was even twenty years old. Let’s see what Matthew has been doing since his time in the old Midwest.
Born in Los Angeles, California, on December 8, 1966, Matthew Charles Labyorteaux was adopted by actress Frances Marshall and talent agent Ronald Labyorteaux. Matthew had quite a childhood. Not only did he survive being born with a hole in his heart, but had an early autism diagnosis due to not walking until he was three years old or talking until he was five years old. Thankfully, by the time he was seven, he was walking and talking just fine, and was ready to start his acting career.
At the young age of seven Matthew started going to commercial casting calls with his brother Patrick. His first big role came in 1974 when he played Angelo Longhetti in the Academy Award-winning drama film A Woman Under the Influence. Not too bad for a kid still in the single digits in age.
He followed that up with a guest spot on shows The Rookies and Phyllis in 1975. He had a pretty busy schedule the following few years, appearing on shows like NBC Special Treat, The Practice, Doc, The Bob Newhart Show, Most Wanted, and Mulligan’s Stew from 1976 to 1977.
Labyorteaux also appears on The Red Hand Gang for 12 episodes in 1977 and on Mary Hartman, Mary Hartman for 23 episodes that same year. That’s an impressive resume to have before he was even a teenager.
Little House on the Prairie
In 1976 Matthew popped up in a random episode of The Little House on the Prairie. He must have caught someone’s eye, because he was asked to come back – as a different character – to be a series regular a few seasons later. Initially played the role of Young Charles Ingalls for one episode in season three, he came back to portray Albert Ingalls for seasons five through nine.
The show was based on the book of the same name and followed the Ingalls family living on their farm in Minnesota. Matthew’s character Albert was adopted into the Ingalls family after being rescued from an orphanage, where before that, he was living on the streets.
The show was nominated for 42 awards and won 17, including four Emmys. Matthew earned two Young Artist Award nominations in 1983 and 1984 for his time on the show. After appearing in almost 90 episodes, Matthew’s time on the show ended when the show did in 1983. But he did reprise his role in the TV movie Little House: Look Back to Yesterday that same year.
What did Matthew do after Little House on the Prairie?
Matthew kept his face on TV for years after Little House on shows like The Love Boat, Amazing Stories, Highway to Heaven, Hotel, Night Court, and Silk Stalkings, and had a bigger part on the show Whiz Kidz for 18 episodes from 1983 to 1984.
Labyorteaux did the occasional movie as well, like the drama King of the Gypsies. His most well-known movie role was as Paul Conway in the 1986 sci-fi horror film Deadly Friendly.
He started developing his love for voice acting with 1998s Mulan and Everyone’s Hero. He voiced characters for shows like Aaahh!!! Real Monsters, G.I. Joe: Sigma 6, and Winx Club. He voiced various roles for Yu-Gi-Oh! Capsule Monsters for 12 episodes in 2006 and 180 episodes of Yu-Gi-Oh! GX from 2004 until 2008.
What is Matthew Labyorteaux doing now?
Matthew seems to love doing voice over work, and who wouldn’t when you get paid to do fun voices. He’s worked on projects like Pokemon, Thrillville, and Star Wars. He’s voiced video games Star Wars: The Old Republic in 2011, Kinect Star Wars in 2012, Gangstar Vegas in 2013, Yu-Gi-Oh! Duel Links in 2016, and Star Wars: The Old Republic – Onslaught in 2019. The last video game he did was Yu-Gi-Oh! Cross Duel in 2022.
As far as social media goes, you won’t find Matthew posting his daily dinners on Instagram, as he doesn’t seem to be on any social media. But he does stay active in the anime circuit. Though he doesn’t do the convention rounds yet, he attended the North America Yu-Gi-Oh! Championship in 2022 in Illinois.
Matthew found love a little later in life, marrying his wife Leslie in July 2020, and becoming a step-dad to her two children from a previous relationship.
Matthew’s brother Patrick is a well-known actor himself. Not only did he appear on seasons four through seven of Little House, but you might recognize him in movies like Blazing Saddles, Heathers, or 3 Ninjas. He also starred on JAG for 208 episodes as Bud Roberts Jr.
If you have kids that are into video games, or are into them yourself, you’ve been hearing his voice this whole time the last few decades.
While he won’t – spoiler, can’t – return to his Little House roots, the show is a classic staple in TV history that deserves at least one watch.