Alison Arngrim, known as Nellie Oleson on ‘Little House on the Prairie’ To Be Featured on Preferred Company
On Thursday, Feb. 6, Joel Markel, of Preferred Company, will interview one of the stars of the hit TV show “Little House on the Prairie” Alison Arngrim’s about her comic memoir of growing up as one of television’s most memorable characters — the devious Nellie Oleson.
For seven years, Alison Arngrim played a horrible, wretched, scheming, lying, manipulative, selfish brat on one of history’s most beloved family TV series. Though millions of Little House on the Prairie viewers might have hated Nellie Oleson and her evil antics, Arngrim grew to love her character and the freedom and confidence Nellie inspired in her.
In CONFESSIONS OF A PRAIRIE BITCH, Arngrim, a longtime stand-up comic, recounts her most cherished and often hilarious behind-the-scenes stories from the Little House set, and her experiences growing up in an eccentric Hollywood family including:
- Michael Landon’s “unsaintly” habit of wearing no underwear and drinking on the set.
- How Melissa Sue Anderson, who played Mary Ingalls, was offset.
- How she and her real life best friend Melissa Gilbert (who played her on-screen nemesis, Laura Ingalls) accidently got drunk off rum cakes at Seven-11 at age 13 and peed in their wet suits during the filming of the infamous “Camp Out” episode.
- The only time she appeared in public in costume, which provoked a posse of vengeful elementary schoolgirls to attack her.
- Life with her parents, Thor Arngrim, Hollywood talent manager to Liberace and others, and Norma Macmillan, a popular voice-over actress who played Casper the Ghost, Gumby, and Davey of Davey and Goliath.
- Her struggle to survive a history of traumatic sexual abuse, as well as paralyzing shyness and depression.
- How the loss of her “Little House” husband and best friend Stacy Tracy, to AIDS inspired her second career in social and political activism.
It was through playing the iconic Nellie that Alison was able to find strength to survive some of her most harrowing personal struggles. “I owe it all to the biggest little bitch on the prairie,” Alison wrote. “When I played Nellie Oleson, she allowed me to scream, to howl, to throw things, to pour out all my pain and rage over and over again in a safe place. Nellie taught me that I could be angry, and the world would not open up and swallow me.”
Entertaining and illuminating throughout, CONFESSIONS OF A PRAIRIE BITCH pulls back the curtain on one of the most popular TV shows of all time — and will be a must-read for all the fans who used to love to hate the despicable Nellie Oleson.
About the author
Arngrim starred as the scheming Nellie Oleson for seven years on the iconic TV series Little House on the Prairie She also guest-starred on such cult classics as The Love Boat, Fantasy Island, and the NBC movie of the week I Married Wyatt Earp, and has appeared in numerous films and plays. Arngrim now performs stand-up; her one-woman show “Confessions of a Prairie Bitch” has become a worldwide phenomenon. Since Arngrim’s friend and “Little House husband” co-star Steve Tracy passed away due to complications of HIV/AIDS in 1986, Arngrim has done extensive advocacy work on behalf of HIV awareness and abused children, volunteering for non-profit organizations such as AIDS Project Los Angeles, Tuesday’s Child, and The National Association to Protect Children. Arngrim lives in Los Angeles with her husband.