“Little House on the Prairie” star Alison Arngrim may best be known for her role as Nellie Oleson on the show. But she isn’t actually like her character in real life.
Arngrim entertained audiences for years as Nellie, who was a bit of a brat. The character was often a pain to be around. Throughout the show, Nellie Oleson acted as both a rival and foil to Laura Ingalls and her siblings on the show. After all, every great show needs a great villain. And while Nellie wasn’t necessarily villainous, audiences loved to hate Arngrim in the role.
But Arngrim is very different in real life. For instance, the two differ in simple ways like Arngrim loves to cook.
“Unlike Nellie Oleson, I am a fabulous cook,” Arngrim told INSP. “I enjoy cooking and usually make things from scratch. I make dinner for my husband almost every night when I’m home. And when we visit the in-laws for Christmas, my sister-in-law and I make Christmas dinner. For 20 to 30 people.”
Oleson famously hated to cook on the show. She despised the culinary crafts and voiced her displeasure on more than one occasion. Cooking for 20 to 30 people would probably be torture for the character. Meanwhile, Arngrim really enjoys making a home-cooked meal, unlike her “Little House on the Prairie” counterpart.
Alison Arngrim on ‘Little House on the Prairie’
Alison Arngrim has made peace with becoming famous at such an early age. Nellie Oleson may be her crowning achievement. But the actor wouldn’t have it any other way. She confessed that she loved playing the character on the show and will always have a soft spot for Oleson and her theatrics.
“I honestly can’t say I was ever really “bitter” about Nellie, even with the typecasting,” she said. “I always loved the character. And thought it was the most hilarious thing ever that I had been cast as a villain.”
Just don’t expect Arngrim to act anything like her “Little House on the Prairie” character in real life. For instance, Arngrim and Laura Ingalls actor Melissa Gilbert were actually good friends in real life. Unlike their characters, they were partners in crime when the cameras weren’t rolling.
Additionally, Arngrim has done various charitable work in recent years, specifically for AIDS awareness and child abuse victims. Besides her humanitarian efforts, Arngrim still acts though these days it’s mostly on stage than on television.