Actress Alison Arngrim made a name for herself as Nellie Oleson on “Little House on the Prairie.” Years later, she spills some show secrets.
In an interview with then-NBC talk-show host Megyn Kelly, Arngrim talks about her experiences on that iconic show which starred Michael Landon. Arngrim, in 2018, also was on a book tour promoting her release, “Confessions of a Prairie B****.”
When asked if she auditioned specifically for Nellie’s role or other roles, Arngrim said, “I went to this first audition where they said we’re making a show about these books.” She’s referencing author Laura Ingalls Wilder’s books about prairie life.
“I hadn’t read the books,” Arngrim said. “Then I read for Laura and I came back and read for Mary, which would have been so wrong had I gotten it. Then they said ‘Come back’ and I said, ‘How many people are on this thing?'”
Alison Arngrim Says ‘Nellie’ Role Was Not A Normal Part
Arngrim said, “I turned to my father and said, ‘This is not a normal part. This girl is, well, she’s the ‘b’ word.’ He said, ‘Read it just like that, don’t touch a thing.’ I was hired on the spot, which says something about me. I’m not sure what.”
Kelly said that she didn’t know that Arngrim was wearing a wig while playing Nellie.
“They tried curling my hair for the first couple of episodes,” Arngrim said. Producers were simply having trouble doing it, she said, because her hair was too straight. What was their answer? Get a wig for the young actress.
In one famous scene, Nellie is sent barreling down a hill by Laura, played by Melissa Gilbert. The camera gets a close-up shot of Nellie yelling while her mother watches in horror.
Arngrim said that was all done because she’d actually broken her arm while skateboarding. She wore a cast on that arm, yet was not able to do some scenes producers wanted so they put her in a wheelchair.
Arngrim Receives Stern Warning From Michael Landon
Arngrim talks about one time she was wearing the cast and Landon, who wrote, produced, and directed many of the “Prairie” episodes, chatted with her.
“He was very kind, signed my cast, and said, ‘You’re not going to be skateboarding again, right?'” Arngrim said. “I said, ‘No,’ and he said, ‘Good because I’ll break the other arm.'”
These and many other memories from Alison Arngrim’s time on “Little House on the Prairie” are part of her interview with Kelly.
Sit back, relax, and enjoy hearing some inside scoop on one of television’s most-revered shows.