About Patrick Laborteaux and Matthew Laborteaux

by Website Editors | Jul 22, 2017

Penelope: “I don’t know what I ever saw in you. You are just like him.”
Andy: “Thanks. I will take that as a compliment.”

—Season 6, Episode 20 “Wilder and Wilder”

Little House Heroes

If ever there were icons of perseverance in the face of adversity, it would be brothers Patrick and Matthew Laborteaux (or Labyorteaux; they used both spellings). Each overcame health challenges as young children with the love and care of their adoptive parents, Ronald Laborteaux and Frances “Frankie” Marshall.

Patrick (born July 22, 1965) was adopted at nine months [1] and was inappropriately labeled as ‘psychotic’ by doctors and welfare workers. [2] His mother remembered, “…he was so high-strung he couldn’t keep food down. When we got him, he was suffering from malnutrition and was exhausted. He would break out in a cold sweat when anyone tried to touch him. With a lot of love and a firm, gentle hand, his symptoms had disappeared in a couple of years.”[3]

Matthew (born December 8, 1966) was adopted at ten months with a hole in his heart. [4] The hole healed, but doctors diagnosed Matthew as autistic or retarded and suggested he be institutionalized [5], which was unacceptable to his parents, who later discovered he suffered from low-blood sugar. [6] Frankie noted, “Sugar had been as poisonous to his system as alcohol or dope. The minute we corrected his diet, the change was drastic and immediate. All his problems disappeared. It was amazing.”[7]

Early Careers

The boys were introduced to acting when their actress mother took them to her auditions. [8] Patrick started acting as therapy, and by seven was a veteran of Cheerios and McDonald’s commercials. [9] Days before his eighth birthday, Patrick was cast in “Mame” with Lucille Ball. [10]

Matthew had many hurdles to overcome. He did not walk until age three or talk until age four. [11] Frankie described how, “…when anyone would try to pick him up, he would scream and try to get away. “One day a casting director asked Frankie if she would allow him to audition for a commercial. “I was panicked. He would throw a tantrum if anyone touched him. But Matthew just got up and followed her into the room. It was like sitting on a powder keg smoking a cigarette.” His acting career took off from there. [12]

Patrick and Matthew became seasoned professionals well before “Little House on the Prairie”. Their mother made it clear, “…if acting was what they wanted to do, it demanded self-discipline and totally professional behavior. And that’s the way it’s worked.”[13]

Patrick’s television career started in 1973 with series “This Is the Life” and a resume including “Starsky and Hutch”, “The Love Boat”, and “Trapper John M.D.” He also co-starred as young Ted Kennedy in “Young Joe, the Forgotten Kennedy.”[14]

In 1974, Matthew was cast in the John Cassavetes film “A Woman Under the Influence” with Gena Rowlands. [15]

Matthew with Gena Rowlands in “Under the Influence”

He acted in movies (“King of the Gypsies”, “Bravo Two”, “Killing Stone”), and series (“The Bob Newhart Show“, “Mary Hartman Mary Hartman“, and “Lou Grant“). [16] Matthew and the cast of “Papa and Me” received a Daytime Emmy nomination for Outstanding Children’s Entertainment Special. [17]

Joseph Mascolo and Matthew Laborteaux starring in “Papa and Me”.

Matthew and Patrick were both in the “A Circle of Children (1977)” and Matthew was a series regular in “The Red Hand Gang” (a cult hit in the United Kingdom).

Little House on the Prairie Years

Matthew was cast first in two episodes of “Little House on the Prairie” for flashback sequences of a young Charles Ingalls.

Matthew Laborteaux as young Charles Ingalls (Little House on the Prairie, Season 4, Episode 16: “I Remember, I Remember”)

Patrick joined “Little House on the Prairie” in 1977 as Andy Garvey, son of the Ingalls’ next-door neighbors.

Patrick Laborteaux as Andy Garvey (Little House on the Prairie, Season 4, Episode 5: “The Wolves”)

Matthew was adopted again in 1978, this time by the Ingalls family, becoming Albert Quinn Ingalls and an inseparable friend of Andy Garvey.

For “Little House on the Prairie: A New Beginning” Matthew was twice nominated (1982 and 1983) for a Young Artists Award as Best Young Actor in a Drama Series. [18]

Additionally, both brothers qualified as AAU (American Athletic Union) swimmers and swam competitively. [19]

Patrick and Matthew Laborteaux as swimmers.

They were also featured in popular teen magazines: 16 Magazine, Bop, Superteen, Teen Beat, and Tiger Beat.

Matthew and Patrick Laborteaux in 16 Magazine.

The enduring family bonds portrayed in “Little House on the Prairie” were influential in Patrick and Matthew’s personal lives. Matthew observed, “Pat and I grew up respecting our parents. We believe in good manners and respect for each other. It’s not so much in the way we say things. It’s how we feel about one another and how we treat each other that counts.”

About their careers, he said, “I’ve been acting since I was four, so I’m used to being around adults on movie and TV sets. Acting isn’t something I had to learn to like. It’s something I’ve done since I can remember, and I love to do it. So does Pat. We’re actors, and we wouldn’t want to be anything else right now. Our careers keep us busy and have given direction to our lives. We’re close to our parents and very open with them. ‘I’ve tried to do some of the ‘normal’ things kids my age enjoy, like going to a roller rink or just hanging out, and it’s no fun. To me, acting is fun. During vacations and hiatus, I begin to get impatient with all the free time.” [20]

Years later, Patrick was asked if there was a particular person in the entertainment business he looked up to. “Michael Landon was the biggest influence. As a child, I watched him write, direct, star, and produce a TV show every week. He showed me what was possible.” [21]

Patrick and Matthew Laborteaux. Photo courtesy of the NBCUniversal.

Youth Rescue Fund

In 1981, Patrick and Matthew created the Youth Rescue Fund to help runaway youth. [22] Matthew explained, “We want to show our gratitude for the kind of home and parents that Pat and I have. The best way to show how much we care is to try to help others who aren’t lucky enough to have a home and parents like ours.” [23] Peer Councils of teenagers were created to “…assist runaways, homeless or abused teenagers and those with drug or alcohol problems” [24] with a long-term goal of setting up shelters. To raise funds, fan club members were asked to contribute a dollar. [25] Additional funds were raised by selling highway safety kits [26], holding celebrity rodeos [27], and staging dances [28]. They raised nearly $11 million. [29] The National Network of Runaway and Youth Services, Inc. in Washington, D.C., the organization which they supported, carries on their work to this day.

Matthew – After Little House

Matthew and the cast of “Whiz Kid”. Photo courtesy of Wikipedia.

After Little House, Matthew stepped into the series “Whiz Kids” in which he and his friends solve crimes by hacking into computer systems. Matthew received a 1983 Young Artists Award nomination for Best Young Actor in a New Television Series and described the show as, “On our show, the kids are like Robin Hood. They use the computer to help the law.” [30]

In real life, Matthew was a “video super talent… on Missile Command and Centipede. He placed 10th in open singles at the Atari world championships in Chicago, scoring a best of 48,000 at Centipede under a three-minute time limit.” [31]

Matthew featured in February 1983 issue of BLIP magazine.

Matthew continued doing movies and series, even reuniting with Michael Landon and Victor French in “Highway to Heaven”. He is in demand as a film voice-over artist and has combined his video-game expertise with acting skills by doing voice work for video-games. [32]

Patrick – After Little House

Patrick had stiff competition for roles after “Little House”, eventually appearing with Mark Harmon in “Prince of Bel Air” and “Summer School”, and would work with Mark again in “JAG” and “NCIS”.  He had film roles, numerous series appearances, and voice work. [33]

Besides Andy Garvey in “Little House on the Prairie”, Patrick is best known as U.S. Naval officer Bud Roberts, Jr. in “JAG” (1995-2005).

The weird thing about the show is that everything that happened to Bud happened to me about a year later. Bud got married. A year later, I married the producer of the show, Tina Albanese. We had a baby on the show, and my wife is now pregnant. It’s been wonderful. The show has given me a life and a wife.” [34]

Patrick and Tina were married in 1998 [35], and son Jeau Bennett was born 2001. [36]

Jeau, Patrick, and Tina Labyorteaux.

After “JAG’s” ten-year run Patrick remained busy with films and television series and, in 2012, together with Tina, produced the Netflix series “See Dad Run” with Scott Baio, which ran for three seasons. [37]

Bonus Fortuna In Futurum (Good Luck in the Future)

There is character in their qualities and quality in their characters. Their mother once confided, “It’s funny, Patrick is blue-eyed and has light hair, and Matthew is brown-eyed with dark hair, but people automatically know they are brothers. Melissa Gilbert said to Patrick one day, ‘Don’t you two ever fight?’ They really don’t. They’ve been through too much to bother with pettiness.” [38]

We could all take a lesson from that.

Recommendations from the Website Editors

A number of the cast members from “Little House on the Prairie” have written about their experiences. Below are links to our website articles about them, as well as to their books, which make entertaining reading and inspired gifts for fans of the television series.

Melissa Anderson

Alison Arngrim

Melissa Francis

Melissa Gilbert

Karen Grassle

Wendi Lou Lee

Ketty Lester

Charlotte Stewart

For information about Laura Ingalls Wilder whose novels inspired the TV series, please visit our Recommended Reading lists for children and young adults and adults. You may also be interested in a documentary film about Laura Ingalls Wilder.

We invite you to subscribe to the free Little House on the Prairie newsletter for all the exclusive interviews and events.

[1] Beck, Marilyn. “’Unadoptable’ child bright, new star of ‘Prairie.’” The Tucson Arizona Daily Star. 9 June 1978.
[2] Scott, Vernon. “’Little House’ stars lived real drama” Syracuse Herald-Journal. 5 July 1981
[3] Reilly, Sue. “Michael Landon’s Amazing Kids.” People Weekly. 11 September 1978
[4] Kiley, Bill. “Behind the Scenes.” Daily Globe. 7 July 1978
[5] Scott, Vernon. “’Little House’ stars lived real drama” Syracuse Herald-Journal 5 July 1981
[6] Kiley, Bill. “Behind the Scenes.” Daily Globe. 7 July 1978
[7] Beck, Marilyn. “’Unadoptable’ child bright, new star of ‘Prairie.’” The Tucson Arizona Daily Star.  9 June 1978.
[8] Frances Marshall: actress. Internet Movie Database http://www.imdb.com/name/nm0479776/?ref_=fn_al_nm_1
[9] Reilly, Sue. “Michael Landon’s Amazing Kids.” People Weekly. 11 September 1978
[10] “Wins Role.” Santa Ana Register. 16 July 1973.
[11] “9·Year-old actor once an autistic child.” Ontario Daily Report. 8 February 1976.
[12] Reilly, Sue. “Michael Landon’s Amazing Kids.” People Weekly. 11 September 1978
[13] Beck, Marilyn. “’Unadoptable’ child bright, new star of ‘Prairie.’” The Tucson Arizona Daily Star. 9 June 1978.
[14] Patrick Labyorteaux: actor, writer, producer. Internet Movie Database http://www.imdb.com/name/nm0479779/?ref_=nv_sr_1
[15] Boon, Joseph P. “’A Woman Under the Influence’ is a superior film about loneliness.” Bucks County Courier Times. 21 February 1975
[16] Matthew Labyorteaux: actor. Internet Movie Database http://www.imdb.com/name/nm0479612/?ref_=nv_sr_1
[17] Daytime Emmy Award for Outstanding Children’s Special.  Wikiwand.com http://www.wikiwand.com/en/Daytime_Emmy_Award_for_Outstanding_Children’s_Special
[18] Youth in Film Awards (now known as Young Artists Awards).  Wikipedia
[19] Beck, Andee.  “Laborteaux doesn’t find being a child star abnormal.” Poughkeepsie Journal. 27 April 1979.
[20] Scott, Vernon. “’Little House’ stars lived real drama” Syracuse Herald-Journal. 5 July 1981
[21] Cox, Jennifer. “An Interview with Patrick Labyorteaux of ‘JAG’: the actor/director speaks candidly about his life and career in front of and behind the camera.” Crave Online  11 December 2012 
[22] Pike, Charlie. “Pike’s Peek.” Harrisonburg Daily News-Record. 6 June 1981: page 6
[23] Barnes, Suzanne. “Channel Comment.” Cedar Rapids Gazette. 27 June 1981: page 2c
[24] “Teen Star.” Chula Vista Star-News 25 September 1983
[25] “For the Good of It.” Kenosha News. 13 October 1981: page 29
[26] “Youth group selling safety kits.” The Times-Reporter. 12 December 1983: page E9
[27] Gelt, Gary. “Teenage brothers on TV series assist runaway youths” Los Angeles Times. 3 January 1982
[28] “SB teens stage dance fundraiser to benefit runaways, crisis centers.” Chula Vista Star-News. 19 July 1984
[29] “Ask Stacy.” The Gazette 23. May 2008
[30] “Matthew Laborteaux: ’Whiz Kid’ real computer whiz.” Brownsville Herald. 4 November 1983
[31] Ferrell, David. “How to conquer video games” Santa Ana Orange County Register. 15 January 1982
[32] Matthew Labyorteaux: actor. Internet Movie Database http://www.imdb.com/name/nm0479612/?ref_=nv_sr_1
[33] Patrick Labyorteaux: actor, writer, producer. Internet Movie Database http://www.imdb.com/name/nm0479779/?ref_=nv_sr_1
[34]Lee, Luaine.  “Spending a day on the set of ‘JAG’” Kokomo Tribune. 19 April 2001
[35] “Patrick Labyorteaux and Tina Albanese.” Whosdatedwho.com http://www.whosdatedwho.com/dating/patrick-labyorteaux-and-tina-albanese
[36] “Jeau Bennett Labyorteaux.” Variety. 19 August 2001 
[37] Patrick Labyorteaux: actor, writer, producer. Internet Movie Database http://www.imdb.com/name/nm0479779/?ref_=nv_sr_1
[38] Reilly, Sue. “Michael Landon’s Amazing Kids.” People Weekly. 11 September 1978

The editors of the Little House on the Prairie® website are pleased to bring you interesting articles, interviews, fan features, videos, and much more.


  1. Who KNew?? I always thought both these guys were so handsome and I love they turned out to be genuinely nice people as well. Thanks for the article.

    • Love the story of Matt And Patrick

  2. I sure hope that one day they will write a book about their lives! I am a fellow adoptee as well. It’s wonderful to read about what they were able to overcome. They must have had very loving and patient adoptive parents. I would love to read more!

  3. They certainly overcame a lot of childhood adversity. Thank God for loving, patient parents raising them and never giving up on them. Patrick and Matthew are living miracles!. Matthew is now an Attorney(A Children’s Advocate) for adopted children. It just goes to show you can achieve ANYTHING if you’re meant to do it and you never allow any obstacle to stop you.

  4. It was Matthew who played young Charles in an earlier season correct?

    • Yes! He played that roll twice I think! Only thing that bugged me (I’m weird) is matthew had brown eyes and Michael Landon had Hazel eyes…. Same thing bothered me in the Little House Christmas episode “A Christmas they never forgot”… the young boy who played the flashback Almanzo as a 6 year old child had brown eyes and the adult Almanzo has blue eyes…

  5. I love to watch matthew and Patrick labyteux on little house on the. Praire

  6. I watch Little House everyday, you and your brother are incredible on there, very talented..

  7. My name is Robin I watched and read the books and my all time favorite one is everyone comes home for the holidays and Hester Sue gave the parents a best present ever. She told him to look in the back and there was the surprise.it was ma and pa. She told ma not to cry and she said I am happy.Laura could not believe it was her sister she was very happy to see her. The Wilder was supposed to go home after dinner but there was a bad snow storm and Charles said that it is a good idea to stay and not leave. They talked about there Christmases when they were younger. Hester Sue sang a very beautiful song about baby Jesus born on Christmas. Sign little house on the prairie fan.

  8. I will be 71 in a few weeks but enjoy Little House on the Prairie. I watch it ever day on UP TV and when it’s over there I put on another station.
    .y kids and I watched Little House when my kids were little. Then I read the books to them.

    Just love this series!! ????

    • I do the same thing!

  9. Was Matthew (Albert Ingalls) and Patrick (Andy Garvey)
    Blood related?

    • Yes, in reality they are probably the closest brothers anyone would know.So,yes,they are real brothers.

    • Yes, they were brothers, both adopted

  10. Did “Bud” from Jag actually loose that leg? If not, the scenes from therapy and progress of healing and “normalization” are nothing short of astonishing!

  11. I love Little House on the Prairie.I have seen every one.I keep Taping the show that is on Cozy channel every day.

  12. I enjoyed watching Little House on the Prairie as a child and into my teens. Now I am introducing my daughter to the show. I used to live around the corner from the Matthew and Patrick. I didn’t get to see them around their yard maybe a glimpse or two so I figured they were always busy on set working or going to school because I am the same age as they are. They seem like great guys, grounded and didn’t let Hollywood life interfere with reality.

  13. Is Matthew single or married? Any children? Just curious to know .

    • I watch little house all the time i love it I am a big fan of Micheal Landon.i love all the kids on there and I know that they like to use family members on the show and i love that too.

  14. The best ones were the Christmas shows.

  15. Fantastic. One of the greatest actors of all time. Still enjoy all related programs, at moment watching Jag,,met with my long time friend lorne green and Michael
    Lando on set years ago pss Unfortunately good movies like this are not made Any more thanks again for the memories ,,Colonel Hank HANDKE DCH Qdjr Niagara Falls ont CANADA

    • I miss little house my favorite show .

  16. Fagan was my favorite moment. When Laura proclaiming that the award was accepted in honor of her brother Albert. Still cry to this day.

    • So beatiful memories. Both brothers, successful and remembered protagonists, the lillte house of the praire.It’s very exciting, see again, to these two great artists. And this way, to know more details of their lives. I remember you with much affection, from my childhood years.
      Thank you, for allowing us to be part of this pleasant moment.
      An affectionate greeting from chile

  17. Well, just to tell you that since the first time I saw that unforgettable episode I REMEMBER, I REMEMBER, back in 1979, I just couldn’t forget it. until now, that I recalled that, and I looked for it on youtube, and I just found it!
    I kept that inside my memory for over 41 years. That can measure the huge impact that tv show caused on me and my family. God bless you all, and I ‘ll keep those memories for the rest of my life. Thank you very much for this undying gift!
    Humberto. Chihuahua, Chihuahua Mexico.

  18. Beautiful brothers who are great actors. I still watch Little House in my fifties. I can’t believe we’re all grown now. Little House takes me back.

  19. The best television series ever. I’m 64 years young and watch it every day on Hallmark Drama. Its such a wonderful show full of family values and morals. Hollywood doesn’t make good clean family shows anymore and thats such a darn shame, because that’s what is needed in these troubling times more than ever. Thank you for the memories. GOD BLESS YOU ALL. ????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????

    • This is true. That’s how it is. Wonderful words that you wrote.
      Think the same. Through this series people can be positively influenced.
      People should live together like this. That’s the really good life between people.
      I am 61 years old and watch this series on TV every day in Germany.
      Thank you Robert. God bless you and all people, animals, plants and our earth.

  20. We are In our 70’s with grandchildren everywhere! We all enjoy Little House! I wish there were shows being made nowadays like Lil House! We enjoy both you brothers on the show! Hurt so bad to lose Michael Landon and “Mr. Edwards”!! We live in very small town in mid west Alabama and just relate the show to our lives!!

  21. We watch this series every day. It still takes us away from violence and nudity that eats up todays television. We have the complete collection including the movies made at the end of the series. It sure would be nice to have a show like this on TV now
    we love it .

    • Hi I’m 53 yrs old grew up watching Little House on the Prairie I watch it often still on tv. Have many cd sets. The 80’s was a great time to be a kid and teenager. Sad to hear when Micheal Landon and Victor French Passed Away. God Bless all the cast members for bringing great episodes of Little House in to our Houses.

  22. Also a huge fan of the show. I am watching reruns on TV almost every night. Also didn’t realize Albert & Andy were real brothers (loved Albert, he was so sweet & handsome). Also, found out another interesting fact about the show, Laura & Wiilie are also real life siblings ( & the same as the Laborteaux’s brothers, both adopted).

  23. Huge fan of the show…always have been!! I will never stop watching as long as it continue to run. I didn’t know Albert and Andy are really brorhers. They were both cutie pies lol. I love the family’s triumphs and struggles. It made me laugh and cry as well through out the years. All the characters will forever be special to me

  24. I love watching JAG reruns, and especially enjoy Patrick’s performance. I have never known the answer to this question: Did Patrick actually lose his leg while filming that show? If not, it’s astonishing how “real” they made it seem. It was a valuable lesson in overcoming adversity and adjusting to physical disabilities.

    • I liked both boys as they grew up in their acting and wondered what they are doing today. Last night I saw a rerun of “Highway to Heaven ” with Matthew on it but that was done yrs ago. Loved Jag, Hope they both grew up happy and having a great life

  25. Love Little House. I always wanted a father like Pa who was always understanding of his kids.

  26. Awesome thank you

    • Just found out they are brothers that’s why they got along well.

  27. Lovely article! I’ve always found these two brother-actors interesting.

  28. With all of the vitriol in this country today, I watch 2 episodes of “Little House on the Prarie” each day to detox from the news. If we spent half the time respecting one another and trying to understand one another as we spend vengefully pushing one political movement over the other, we would be much happier. “LHOP” gives me hope that we can become a society once again, that is less about knee jerk reactions, hatred and anger than it is about acceptance, love, hope, appreciation and gratitude. Thank you, Matt and Pat for your body of work. I watch it over and over and over again!

  29. Matthew’s guest-appearance in an episode of “The Rookies” (“Lamb To The Slaughter”) remains one of my lasting favorites of his many works. Such a talented boy who carried his gifts into adulthood. Bravo!

  30. Best show ever on tv should be shown in all schools mike rosebud victoria Australia

  31. Such a wonderful show. Part of my afternoon routine. Values we have forgoton in this day and age. Always good for a laugh o rtf tear.

  32. Probably one of the best shows ever on TV . Still watching reruns as of today .

  33. Little House s imy very favorite of all, I could watch it everyday and never get tired of it. I Love all the actors and Actresses on that show. I have adopted so many ways from that. I am so Old school, I am not even used to husle and bustle of everyday life. I live on a small farm in a tiny Town in Colorado and I love every waking day, and Thank God that I live in the best place on earth.
    Thank You Matt and Pat for letting us Love you Both so much. Jim and Sue Rossi Austin, Colorado

    • I’m 60 years old now and still watch it always

      • Same for me.
        This series warms comforts and strengthens our heart and soul forever.

  34. Thankyou


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