Alison Arngrim was mainly offered 2 types of roles after leaving the show

Alison Arngrim is still considered synonymous with her villainous character Nellie Oleson from little house on the prairie despite the series ending nearly 40 years ago. Although Arngrim wanted to spread her acting wings and take on roles far removed from Walnut Grove, the offers she received were all in the “Nellie” genre.

Alison Arngrim from ‘Little House on the Prairie’ | NBCU Photo Bank

Alison Arngrim tried out for the roles of ‘Laura’ and ‘Mary’

Arngrim was just 12 when she landed the role of Nellie Oleson. the Small house alum originally auditioned for the role of Laura Ingalls (which went to Melissa Gilbert), then her sister Mary (played by Melissa Sue Anderson). Looking back, Arngrim is grateful to have been cast as Walnut Grove’s bully.

“I would have hated to be one of the Ingalls,” Arngrim told the The college crowd digs me in blog with a laugh. “Not to mention the impact it has had on my life. It wouldn’t have been so fun to be Laura or Mary, Nellie was way more fun. In the long term, it would also have been difficult to maintain this good image of two shoes. Nellie gave me more freedom.

Hired by show creator and star Michael Landon, Arngrim described how her character became such a fiery force of nature.

“When we did the show, and I really liked the character,” she said, “and also Michael Landon and the production team took on me, Nellie evolved to be a lot meaner , more intriguing, more campy and outrageous.”

RELATED: Why ‘Little House on the Prairie’ Star Alison Arngrim Left the Show: ‘It Was Unfair’

‘Little House’ star couldn’t shake ‘Nellie’ character

Arngrim admitted that sometimes playing a character in the 1800s was a bit overwhelming, especially when a plethora of popular sitcoms were airing at the same time. Small house was an NBC hit though it fell into a different category than ratings mammoths like Laverne and Shirley and Company of Three.

“You go through the phase where you want to be the ‘pretty girl’ and want people to like you, and that’s not what I was doing on the show,” Arngrim explained. “And people would say to me in the 1970s, ‘why can’t you be on a cool show, like Happy Days?’ “

When Arngrim is gone Small house after Season 7, she received a few callbacks for a different overall character. Still, the majority of offers were for a bully or a prairie girl.

“I certainly turned down a few things,” Arngrim said. “I was hoping, well, we’re done with Small house now hire me for something else. I’ve been amazed how many times I’ve been called out not just for b**** roles, but for 1800 era roles.”

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Alison Arngrim embraces her Nellie fame

Although he is unable to free himself from her Small house identity, Arngrim is grateful for what the iconic role has brought to her life.

“Honestly, I can’t say I was ever really ‘bitter’ about Nellie, even with the typography,” Arngrim said. From the office. “I’ve always loved the character and thought it was the most hilarious thing I’ve ever been cast as a villain – I was and still am very proud of the work I did as a villain. than Nellie.”

She added: “Even though, from a professional and financial point of view, being typed like everything can really suck, I couldn’t help but buy taking it as a compliment that people have bought into it so much. that I was doing that they thought it was real. I think it made my agents a lot crazier than me.

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