Little House on the Prairie: Alison Arngrim on Her Experiences Portraying a Hated Character


Little House on the Prairie made Alison Arngrim a household name as Walnut Grove's cruel girl Nellie Oleson, Nellie Oleson. 

Arngrim, who came from a family of actors, was able to play such a reviled figure without losing her perspective. Alison Arngrim was born with an active gene

Arngrim's parents were actors, and she was frequently surrounded by persons in the performing arts.

"My family was in the entertainment industry, and I was almost 12 years old when I was cast, so I knew how to distinguish between dream and reality," Arngrim told Everything Zoomer. 

Every person I knew was an actor. I recognized that people who died on television were not actually dead since they were sitting at our dinner table. The mother of the Little House alum also voiced other classic characters. Arngrim was grounded in reality due to the fact that both of her parents played multiple roles.

"My mother [Canadian actress Norma MacMillan] provided the voice for Gumby and Casper the Friendly Ghost," Arngrim revealed, "but I knew she wasn't actually a green, talking sphere of clay."

Some Little House admirers believed that Nellie Oleson was an actual person.

Even though Arngrim had ample experience distinguishing between real life and film personalities, some Little House watchers were unable to separate the actor from the Nellie character.

"I was surprised that not everyone who watched the show had the same capacity to distinguish between the two," Arngrim added with a chuckle.

 "I mean, the things that people have spoken to me are unbelievable! Someone in the audience once hurled orange drink at my head while I was participating in a Christmas parade. People have panicked in my presence." The former Little House star stated she was the complete antithesis of her antagonistic role.

Arngrim commented, "As a child, I was extremely timid; I was more the kind to get beaten up by Nellie Oleson in the schoolyard."

 "This character was the antithesis of me; I was never so brash, and I would never have dared to do or say what Nellie did and said to others. But I got to be someone else entirely, and that was incredible." Little House afforded Alison Arngrim consistent employment.

With such a background in show business, Arngrim was hardwired to seek out jobs.

"Until I was eight years old, I believed that everyone was on television," she remarked. "Entering the family business seemed like a natural decision. My parents were not crazy stage parents, but they were supportive when Little House happened. 

Before Little House, I had worked intermittently as a child actress, but I hadn't been employed since I was ten years old. My father stated, "You aren't actually booking anything anymore; it may be the end." You may never work again. Therefore, I was essentially finished at 11."

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