"Little House on the Prairie": Inside the Sweet Relationship Between Alison Arngrim and Co-Star Steve Tracy

Alison Arngrim, who played Mary in "Little House on the Prairie," became close with the rest of the cast. The late Steve Tracy, who played Nelly Oleson's husband Percival Dalton on Little House on the Prairie, was a big part of her life. Here's a look at how they get along. 

The people who worked on "Little House on the Prairie" were friends. 

Karen Grassle talks about the close friendships she made on the set of Little House on the Prairie in her book Bright Lights, Prairie Dust. She was close to Katherine MacGregor, who played Nellie Oleson's mother, Harriet Oleson. She also got to know Charlotte Stewart, who played the teacher Mrs. Beadle, and became friends with her. 

Melissa Gilbert, who was also on the show, became Arngrim's best friend. In her book, "Confessions of a Prairie B****," she writes that she knew Gilbert was a friend for life when he worried about her after she passed out from heat exhaustion on the set of "Little House." Arngrim says that Gilbert waited outside her dressing room until she felt better. She said that Gilbert was like an anxious father waiting outside the delivery room. 

Alison Arngrim and Steve Tracy got to know each other well. 

Steve Tracy was another good friend of Arngrim's. She says that they were so close that some people thought they were actually dating. They didn't care because Dalton was keeping a personal secret from them. He was gay and didn't want the public to know about it. 

Arngrim says that she and Tracy got along well both on and off set. They were having so much fun in one scene that they couldn't stop laughing. Arngrim says that they laughed so hard they couldn't stop. She saw that the crew was looking at her and Dalton in a way that seemed to ask if they were a couple. Arngrim says that everyone thought she was sleeping with Dalton. 

Arngrim says that when Little House on the Prairie was on TV, many actors who were gay tried to hide the fact that they were gay. She said that they had "cover relationships" to hide the fact that they were gay. Dalton, on the other hand, didn't need a cover because everyone thought they were dating. She says they even told the National Enquirer they were "deeply in love" when they weren't. 

Arngrim and Dalton hung out together a lot. She says that as a "couple," they went to charity events, red carpet events, and other events. Arngrim says that she and Dalton had more in common than most real Hollywood couples. 

 Steve Tracy was her "other husband," according to Alison Arngrim. 

Arngrim says that after Little House on the Prairie ended, she was so close to Tracy that she joked about calling him her "other husband." She says that they were always making jokes and that they could even finish each other's sentences. Arngrim says, "It was like we never stopped being Nellie and Percival." 

Tracy was a close friend, a teacher, and a confidant, according to Arngrim. She says he was a lot more to her than just a friend. She also thought of him as her "teacher and guardian." 

Arngrim lost her teacher and guardian, which was sad. On Thanksgiving Day, November 27, 1986, Dalton died from complications caused by having AIDS. He had turned 34.


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