From 'Little House' to FOX Business: Melissa Francis' Surprising Journey

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Melissa Francis, former child-actress with a two seasons on "Little House on the Prairie," and now host of "MONEY with Melissa Francis" on FOX Business Network, talks about her life as a child in Hollywood, going to Harvard, and finally coming into her own voice as the host of her own show. In November, Francis has a tell-all memoir coming out, "Diary of a Stage Mother's Daughter," in which she speaks candidly about her childhood experiences in show business.

"Little House on the Prairie"

Francis made her first commercial at just six months old for Johnson & Johnson Shampoo, and that was just the start. She continued to work doing commercials, and then she landed a dream role in "Little House on the Prairie." "The show had been on the air a long time by the time I got there," Francis says. "So it was very much geared towards kids. They had it down to a science: They had a schoolroom, and knew how to bribe us with ice cream in the afternoon to keep everyone happy and working well."

"Diary of a Stage Mother's Daughter": A Deeply Personal Memoir

The fond memories of her time on "Little House" just scratches the surface of Francis' career. With her time on the popular series and over 100 commercials under her belt, Francis literally grew up in front of the camera. She talks about her struggles and experiences in her memoir, "Diary of a Stage Mother's Daughter." The book was a labour of love for Francis, "I'm proud of how it came out, although it's a huge risk -- it's just very personal. I know even my husband was surprised to read a lot of it. And only a few of my girlfriends have seen it, and they were, 'Wow, I never knew any of this about you at all.'" When asked what she hoped readers would come away, Francis paused a moment, "I hope that [readers] realize that a challenging past or a difficult childhood is a wealth of experience to draw on later. You know what not to do when you grow up, or you know how you want to live differently. As long as you grab hold of it and take the right lessons out of it, and decide how you're going to control your own life and your own destiny."

"MONEY with Melissa Francis"

And grab hold of her own life she did. While at Harvard, Francis landed an internship at a local station and was hooked to the news business. After many years of working her way up the ranks, Francis hit gold when she had the opportunity to host her own show, "MONEY with Melissa Francis." When asked her about the show, Francis spoke enthusiastically, "It's everything I hoped for and more. We really have a great time every night. It really reflects my personality and the issues that get me going. I always say I feel sorry for people who have a real job, because I come to work and have a great time!"

From child-actress to the host of her own show, Melissa Francis has come a long way. You can see Francis talk about the news and how it affects your wallet weekdays at 2pm PST on FOX Business Network.

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