Family & Companions
Best known for her Emmy Award-winning role as Ellen Craig on "St. Elsewhere," Bonnie Bartlett found early inspiration for her acting ambition in her father, a former Shakespearean actor. She studied at Northwestern University, where she met actor William Daniels; the two married after graduation. The couple moved to New York where Bartlett trained under Lee Strasberg. In 1955, Bartlett broke into on television as Vanessa 'Van' Dale Raven Sterling, a role she'd play for four years on the daytime soap opera "Love of Life." After leaving the show, she gave birth to her first child, who sadly died soon after. The couple went on to adopt two boys, and Bartlett's career took a back seat to her children. During this time she made guest appearances on such popular shows as the family drama "The Waltons," the western "Gunsmoke," and the crime drama "Kojak." In 1974, she accepted the recurring role of Grace Snider on the family adventure drama "Little House on the Prairie." After her arc came to an end in 1979, she took on a number of guest spots before landing a role on the medical soap "St. Elsewhere" alongside her husband in 1982. In 1986, the couple made history when each won an award on Emmy night, only the second couple in history to do so. Over the decades Bartlett has become a staple of modern television, and in 2008 made an appearance on the hit medical drama "Grey's Anatomy."