Popularly known for her portrayal of Caroline Ingalls in Little House on the Prairie, Karen Grassle is an American actress who has been married three times: to Leon Russom (1966-1970), James Alan Radford, and Scott Sutherland.
Although her TV career has been successful, Karen Grassle’s personal relationships have not been as fortunate. Here is all you need to know about her relationships
All Of Karen Grassle’s Marriages Ended In Divorce
Karen Grassle is a huge fan of family life. However, despite having three spouses, none of them made her happy enough to stay married. Here are the men she married:
Born on December 6, 1941, Leon Russom is an American actor who has appeared in numerous television series, particularly soap operas.
Karen and Leon were married from 1966 to 1970. In her 2021 book, Bright Lights, Prairie Dust, the NBC star said she first met Leon while they were both trying to find their footing in showbiz.
Despite their financial constraints at the start of their careers, they took a risk and got married while looking for stable positions in Hollywood. However, soon after tying the knot, their relationship became strained. It was alleged that Russom had a habit of draining Karen’s bank account and sleeping out, which caused Karen to petition for divorce.
Leon later married Daphne C. Cheesman on November 21, 1987, and they had children together.
Moreover, his entertainment career took a significant turn for the better after he parted ways with Karen. He was cast as Joe Taylor in the soap opera Love is a Many Splendored Thing. He also became the second actor to play the role of Willis Frame on the NBC soap Another World, which he kept for several years. Russom would later feature in several TV shows and movies, including Star Trek VI: The Undiscovered Country (1991), Behind Enemy Lines (2001), and The Primevals (2023)
James Alan Radford
James Alan Radford, also known as “Allen,” was born in Oklahoma on October 9, 1934. He attended Fairfax High School and graduated in 1952. Allen was a real estate developer, focusing primarily on building shopping centers. He had a sharp business mind and a relentless passion for negotiating deals. He profoundly impacted every person and real estate project he touched, predominantly in the greater Los Angeles area.
Over a decade after her marriage to Leon failed, Karen Grassle married James Alan Radford in 1982. Their marriage lasted five years before they decided to separate in 1987 for undisclosed reasons. James then married Josephine.
Before their divorce, James and Karen wanted to have children but faced fertility difficulties. They were on the verge of starting fertility treatment before they opted for adoption. They adopted two children, Zachary and Lily, during their marriage.
Zachary grew up to be an IT professional. Years after Karen moved to her house across the bay from San Francisco, Zachary moved to the area to spend more time with her. According to Karen, she goes hiking in the hills and redwoods with her son whenever he is around.
Although Karen and James’s relationship did not work out, Karen has stated that she remained in touch with her second ex-husband until he passed away.
James passed on May 10, 2023
James passed away on Wednesday, May 10, 2023. He is survived by his wife Josephine and their kids. According to legacy.com, he was known as a good, kind, and generous man who enjoyed reading, cooking, politics, and appreciating nature.
Scott T. Sutherland
Grassle was married to her third husband, Dr. Scott T. Sutherland, from 1991 to 1997. Little is known about the details of their relationship, but the couple was together for about six years before going their separate ways. They did not have any children together.
Meanwhile, Dr. Sutherland is a psychiatrist in Nepa, California. He received his medical degree from the College of Osteopathic Medicine of the Pacific and has been in practice for over two decades.
Karen Grassle Never Had Any Biological Kids With Her Husbands
Grassle dreamt of becoming a mother, but she never had any biological children due to fertility issues. Despite having a difficult journey to parenthood, she is now a loving mother who cherishes her time with the children she adopted with her former husband, James Allen Radford. Her adopted children are Lily Radford and Zach Radford.
According to the actress, parenthood taught her patience and the life-changing realization that someone is utterly dependent on her to live.
She has enjoyed a mother-and-child relationship not only with her adopted children but also with her on-screen children on Little House. The NBC star is also known for establishing a special connection with Melissa Gilbert, who played her TV daughter.