(WFLA) — Hersha Parady, who once starred as teacher Alice Garvey on “Little House on the Prairie, died Wednesday at 78.
According to Today, the actress’s death was confirmed by her son Jonathan Peverall.
“My mother was a talented actor, but more importantly a beloved presence in many hearts – more than I had ever realized,” he wrote in a statement on a GoFundMe for his mother. “I have been consistently astonished by the number of people that have expressed to me her impact on their lives.”
Peverall set up the GoFundMe to help raise money for his mother’s treatments as she battled a meningioma, a type of tumor that forms from the membranes around the brain and spinal cord.
According to the Mayo Clinic, this is the most common tumor that can form inside someone’s head. Depending on where they are, meningiomas can cause headaches, seizures, memory loss, and other disabling symptoms.
Peverall said Parady became “largely bedridden,” having lost her energy and experiencing memory problems before her passing.
On a July 31 update, the actress’ son said she developed pneumonia after having surgery, leading her to remain in the ICU while on a ventilator.
“She fought a courageous battle against a challenging medical condition, and even in her struggle, she continued to inspire us with her strength and resilience,” he wrote. “At one point, a doctor expressed to me her surprise that she had stayed with us for this long, given her condition; I said, “If you knew my Mom, you wouldn’t be surprised.'”
Born in Berea, Ohio, Parady began acting in the Cleveland theater scene at the age of 14. A 1975 article from the Plain Dealer said Parady played the role of Stella in a touring production of “A Streetcar Named Desire” opposite Jon Voight.
Parady eventually got a role on “Little House on the Prairie” after a guest star appearance in Season 3 as Walnut Grove teacher Alive Garvey, which later was upgraded to a regular role for three seasons afterward until the character’s death in the episode “May We Make Them Proud.”
“At least I went out with a bang and not a whimper!” the actress once said.