‘Little House on the Prairie’: How Melissa Gilbert Helped Save Alison Arngrim’s Job in the First Season

Toilet on the Moor it put pressure on a number of young actors during their nine-season run. On air from 1974 to 1983, the historical drama featured Melissa Gilbert (Laura Ingalls) and Alison Arngrim (Nellie Oleson) in most events as feudal contemporaries.

Behind the scenes, Gilbert and Arngrim became close friends. When Arngrim’s shyness was taken as a “diva” behavior on set, Gilbert, just 9 years old at the time, went straight to set the record.

Melissa Gilbert and Alison Arngrim from 'Little House on the Prairie'
Melissa Gilbert and Alison Arngrim of ‘A Little House on the Hill’ NBCU / NBCUniversal Photo Bank via Getty Images

Alison Arngrim was very different from Nellie Oleson

Although Arngrim played the spoiled wealthy daughter of Walnut Grove Nellie Oleson, the actor had some issues of confidence and tried to maintain a low profile among her friends.

“I sometimes had difficulty talking to ‘new people’ one on one,” Arngrim wrote in her book Prairie B * tch confession: How I Survived Nellie Oleson and How I Learned To Love Hate. “I was now looking at a team and a team of over a hundred, some with people who were a bit scary, to say the least – I was hoping I could just show, do my job , and lay low, but was not to be. ”

Arngrim’s contemporaries were soon misinterpreted as something more negative.

“Her motion was unanimous,” said Arngrim. “She had just staged a group of children’s actors against the stage mothers. There were no other incidents of this kind. … For some of us, growing up as president of the Screen Actors Guild was no surprise. ”

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