Checkout the beautiful photos of Olivia Barash She played Sylvia Webb On Little House on the Prairie

The trauma was never shied away from in Little House on the Prairie. Whether it was narrating tales of racism, alcoholism, and anti-Semitism or letting Alice Garvey and Mary's baby perish in a fire at the school for the blind (sob! ), the venerable family drama never quite equated to "wholesome" or "easy".

That was never more evident than with the February 9, 1981, premiere of "Sylvia," which occurred 42 years ago today.

 Olivia Barash played a beautiful and shy little girl in the two-part episode, which was written and directed by Little House leading man Michael Landon. She was raped by a man wearing a very, very terrifying clown mask.

 Everyone in Walnut Grove treats Sylvia badly after she becomes pregnant, but kindly Albert Ingalls (Matthew Labyorteaux) promises to marry her and raise the child as his own.Sadly, Sylvia's true love was never able to live out their happily ever after.

 Sylvia fell down a ladder while attempting to flee from the menacing clown rapist, Richard Jaeckel's character Irv, who was subsequently shown to be the amiable blacksmith of Walnut Grove. Sylvia died as a result of her injuries. (This two-parter was dark, as we mentioned.)Part 2 of "Sylvia" debuted on February 16 and was the third most watched episode of the week.

 It was not only a huge hit with Little House fans, but it also represented a significant career milestone for Barash. By the time she was twelve, Barash was an experienced actor on stage and film, with a notable list of humorous TV appearances under her belt, including cameos on Charlie's Angels, Soap, Alice, and the brief Norman Lear sitcom In the Beginning. 

The actor was prepared to demonstrate her ability to handle drama, and "Sylvia" is the epitome of drama.It was a dramatic role, which was one of its outstanding aspects. Therefore, I think it was excellent to show off my skills," Barash tells EW. "It was advantageous. I had no idea how much of an impact it would have on individuals." The actress maintained a steady career in television and films following her iconic performance in Little House. 

She landed the breakthrough part of Leila in the 1984 cult classic Repo Man and starred as Maxine in the last season of NBC's Fame. However, fans are still raving about her portrayal of Sylvia Webb forty years later."Because of Little House, I have this really weird fan by base," Barash explains. "I'm Repo Man, this cult actress, and everything." Without a doubt, "Sylvia" was the starting point."

The singer, actress, director, and writer was gracious enough to talk to EW about her experiences on the show Little House. She talked about her first impression of the scary clown mask, being directed by Landon, and why she was not permitted to receive her "Sylvia" fan letters.BARBARA SHAW: I was fourteen or fifteen.

 It's strange, then, because I drove. At Universal, there was an audition. Even though I wasn't supposed to drive, I used to drive there.

 My mother allowed me to use her car because she worked. It was absurd. [Giggles] When I used to drive on the motorway, I appeared to be twelve years old.Did you realise that the character you were playing would be sexually assaulted by a man wearing a spooky clown mask?

I was unaware of the clown mask. [Laughs] I anticipated that the character would be sexually assaulted. I was all set to go. I had a dramatic idea in mind. My mother was quite protective of me. We assumed it wouldn't be as graphic because it was on television. I was not permitted to watch films such as The Exorcist.

At the time, did you enjoy watching Little House on the Prairie?

Actually, I didn't watch the show. [Giggles] I will tell you the truth. All I saw were my two episodes and a few more that Matthew Labyorteaux produced. However, because it was so well-known, I was aware of it. Melissa Gilbert was on it, I knew that.Which scene did you read during the audition, if you recall?

I believe it was the Royal Dano scene with my dad. When he labelled me a whore, there was a very touching scene. Royal was amazing. He was such a sweetheart, the kindest person who was a really excellent actor, but he was so scary when we were doing the part.

How did you get to know Michael Landon at first?

On location. As far as I can recall, we didn't have a table reading or anything. I simply went to the sets and joined him in costume. He was incredibly kind, sensitive, and laid back.

 He was one of my favourite directors because I could feel him crying in front of the camera, which greatly improved [my performance]. The actors were moved to tears by it. It was an absolute pleasure to direct him.Can you recall a particular scene that brought him to tears?

When I died, oh my god. the Albert-related scene. It was difficult. He was crying when the scene happened. He may have sobbed a couple times because I was going through some difficult moments. [Giggles]

When you first saw the clown mask on the set, how did you feel?

I let out a "Ahhh!" That alarmed me. Clowns were always my fear! Growing up, I was terrified of clowns as well as the circus. So that satisfied my needs. For my role, I was given a nomination for an Emmy. I didn't really have a manager back then because I was a child. 

We had no idea how to turn it into a nomination or how to [campaign]. However, I received a letter from the Academy stating that I was under consideration. That was quite significant, therefore. [Giggles]In the 1980s, Matthew Labyorteaux was an absolute beauty. What thoughts did you have about him?

Matthew, his brother Patrick, and I attended school together. Since we all attended the same private school, we were acquainted. Being on stage with a talented actor in my age range was amazing. He was outstanding.

 I believe it was at the death scene, when Albert is crying and agreed that we should have those flowers at the wedding, that is when I remember him making me cry. He was excellent!


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