Alison Arngrim was only 12 when she started playing Nellie Oleson on “Little House on the Prairie.”
Since then, her role as the mischievous and slightly irritating villain, Nellie, has continued to be her stand-out role in the acting world.
Before landing her role, Arngrim was babysitting to get some money. She happens to have one specific connection to an influential actress through this.
Alison Arngrim Babysat Quinn Cummings
According to a Heroes Live Here blog post by Arngrim, she used to babysit Oscar-nominated actress Quinn Cummings.
At the time, Cummings was only 2 years old and lived directly next door. Arngrim shared that the two are buddies on Twitter and that Cummings has since released “several very funny books.”
Quinn Cummings is most known for her role as Lucy McFadden in “The Goodbye Girl.” This is the role that got her an Academy Award nomination for Best Supporting Actress. She also had a recurring role in the television series called “Family.”
She has since given up acting and her very last role was in a 1991 episode of “Blossom.” She is now a writer and an entrepreneur. Cummings created the HipHugger, which is a sling that someone wears to hold a baby.
She is now an accredited writer. She has written books like “Notes From The Underwire: Adventures from My Awkward and Lovely Life” and “Pet Sounds.” She even has a podcast called “Quinn Cummings Gives Bad Advice” where she listens to questions about certain topics and gives advice with no expertise.
Arngrim and Advocacy After ‘Little House on the Prairie’
After “Little House on the Prairie,” Alison Arngrim has been vocal about the difficulties she faced during her childhood.
In an episode of “Oprah: Where Are They Now?” Arngrim opened up about the sexual abuse she suffered as a child. She said that starting at the age of 6 a close relative sexually abused her for three years. She said that her role as Nellie, who was loud, screams, and throws things, was therapeutic at the time.
“I wasn’t quite completely clear on exactly what it was that was being done to go report this. So when I started to get older and realize what it was, that’s when I actually said ‘No, I’m not doing this anymore.’ And amazingly, it stopped,” Arngrim said.
She hadn’t told her family or close castmates for years. She first started talking about it when she was in her early 20s.
Arngrim has since become involved in advocacy to help protect children. She is the president of the National Association to Protect Children. Alison Arngrim has also spoken in front of the California State Senate, worked on legislative campaigns, and helped spark new federal legislation. She has made a major difference in helping others.
She was also close friends with Steve Tracy, an actor from “Little House on the Prairie,” who was vocal about his HIV diagnosis. She signed up for AIDS Project Los Angeles to help and learn more. Now, she still works with the organization.