‘Little House on the Prairie’ Star Alison Arngrim Once Recalled How Michael Landon Taught Her ‘About Fans’

by Samantha Whidden
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Although the classic TV series “Little House on the Prairie” was a huge hit, actress Alison Arngrim revealed that Michael Landon’s main priority was always the fans. 

While speaking to Larry King in 2004, the “Little House on the Prairie” star spoke about how her co-star taught her about fans. “We’d be on the sets, and he’d be in the middle of screaming at someone, and a family would come on the set and he would drop what he was doing, turn around and say, here, sign autographs, hold the baby, kiss the wife, pose for pictures and then say ‘OK, thank you’ and then turn back and go ‘and another thing’ and go back to what he was doing.”

While speaking about her “Little House on the Prairie” character, Arngrim shared that she had a different approach to life than that of her Nellie Oleson. “Here I was, playing the big bully, which did wonders for me, because I was beat up at school, and here all the sudden I had this reputation as being Nellie. Actually, it still works for me. If I go into a room full of people I don’t know and I’m not sure and I’m a little nervous, then I remember they’re all terrified of me, ‘She’s Nellie and we’d better not upset her.’”

Alison Arngrim Described ‘Little House on the Prairie’ Star Michael Landon as Being ‘Generous and Stingy’

As she continued to speak to Larry King, Alison Arngrim opened up about what it was like to work with Michael Landon on the “Little House on the Prairie” set. 

“He was generous and stingy,” Arngrim stated. “Well, we’d get these fabulous Christmas presents, it was just wonderful, I got a stereo one year. But he also ran the tightest ship in town. The show would come in under budget and he had a piece of a show and try to get a raise on that show. There’s many actors in ‘Little House’ who will complain to you bitterly that they were underpaid…”

While recalling how she found out about Michael Landon’s death, the “Little House on the Prairie” castmate shared that she was at Tuesday’s Child, an organization helping children with AIDS, when she heard the news. She went on to add, “I had heard he was deathly ill and Melissa [Gilbert] was going over there and we got the phone call that he had died. And they arrived and I said ‘I’m not sure I can talk right now because he’s just died.’ And well, now of course that’s what we want to talk about. So I had to do the interview about Michael and his death about 10 seconds after he had died.”

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