“Little House on the Prairie” was the wholesome series that delved into the daily life of the close-knit Ingalls family, their neighbors, and their enemies.
One character that the show often featured was Harriet Olsen, an antagonist played by Katherine “Scottie” MacGregor. She was the wealthy, snobby, and uptight store owner in town. Her daughter was Nellie Oleson. The other kids didn’t get along well with Nellie because she had a rather bratty attitude.
As it turns out, Harriet Olesen may have also had some real-life drama with one of the stars of the series, Michael Landon. He was Charles Ingalls, the fatherly figure in the series. In a recent article with the New York Post, Karen Grassle, or Caroline Ingalls, opened up about Landon’s more controversial life choices.
‘Little House on the Prairie’ Set Drama
While working on “Little House on the Prairie” Landon had an affair with a stand-in actress Cindy Clerico. Landon was married at the time when he got involved with the 18-year-old. For some people on the set, this new romance caused new strained relationships with Landon.
Grassle revealed that MacGregor already didn’t have the best relationship with Landon due to the fact she got a smaller salary compared to her co-stars, amongst other reasons. MacGregor was a staple on the show and audiences certainly felt her absence when she wasn’t in the 1984 TV movie. Reportedly, she missed it because she was on a holistic retreat in India.
“[MacGregor] refused to take part. After all Scottie had been through with Mike, she didn’t want to have anything to do with him and the reunion,” Grassle told the news outlet. She, along with other cast members, was also close to his wife at the time, Marjorie Lynn Noe.
It was something else that really stuck with Grassle at the time. “I knew his wife. I had been in their home. She had been kind to me. And I thought about her children — there were three of them still at home … and younger than Cindy,” Grassle wrote in her book.
Katherine MacGregor Shares Distaste Toward Co-Star
In addition to being one of the main stars of the program, Michael Landon was also the director.
When MacGregor first met Landon during the auditioning process, she immediately got a bad feeling. She would later share these feelings with Alison Arngrim, who played her daughter Nellie Oleson.
“[Landon] was hard not to notice. He didn’t walk. He strutted. He swaggered. Like a peacock. His aura annoyed some people in the cast. I remember Katherine MacGregor telling me she disliked him on sight when, at her audition, he strutted into the room. ‘Like a baby bantam rooster,’ she howled,” wrote Arngrim in her 2011 memoir, “Confessions of a Prairie Bitch: How I Survived Nellie Oleson and Learned to Love Being Hated.”