Former child star Melissa Francis has certainly come a long way, from Little House on the Prairie to her condo on Manhattan’s Upper East Side.
After playing Michael Landon’s adopted daughter Cassandra Cooper Ingalls from 1981 to 1982 and a slew of other kid roles, she found renewed success as a host on CNBC then on Fox Business Network.
But four years ago, Melissa made the happiness of her own kids — Greyson, 4, and Thompson, 7—her top priority.
“We decided to come uptown [from trendy downtown Chelsea] because the boys go to school up here, and being too far away, kids can become undesirable playmates,” Melissa shares about the move with her investor hubby of 14 years, Wray Thorn.
The duo found a condo on Manhattan’s Upper East Side that was nearly identical to their Chelsea apartment downtown. “The moment I walked in, I knew. But I hid it, because that’s not very strong negotiating,” she laughs.
It’s easy to understand why she was drawn to the four-bedroom, four-bath, 3,100-square-foot home. Entering the single-floor unit, you’re immediately embraced by a bright living room with three blue-grey sofas and what Melissa, 41, calls a “New York-European-Swedish influence.”
When Melissa moved in, they tore down most of the wall to the left of the entrance (leaving a pair of pillars) to create an open space that flows into her elegant dining room.
A hallway runs behind the living room, flowing past Wray’s office, a guest bedroom and Melissa’s favorite, the kids’ playroom — replete with books, toys and her sons’ artistic efforts. “Every six months we pick our favorite and frame it,“ she says.
Melissa heads down the hall, past her beautiful 1999 wedding photos, to the master bedroom.
She enjoys escaping there after a long days work on Money With Melissa Francis. “We’re tucked away in the back,” she confides with a smile, “so it takes the longest to find us there.”