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Alison Arngrim Poster

Biography

Jump to: Overview (3) | Mini Bio (1) | Spouse (2) | Trivia (18)

Overview (3)

Date of Birth 18 January 1962New York City, New York, USA
Birth NameAlison Margaret Arngrim
Height 5' 4" (1.63 m)

Mini Bio (1)

Alison Arngrim, best-known to viewers, world-wide, for her portrayal of the incredibly nasty "Nellie Oleson" on the much-loved, long-running hit television series, Little House on the Prairie (1974), continues to amuse audiences through her many film, television and stage appearances. She can currently be seen in the independent films For the Love of May (2000) with RuPaul and Patricia Neal, and The Last Place on Earth (2002) with Billy Dee Williams and Phyllis Diller. In 2007, she began her foray into French cinema with the role of "Edith" in the French detective comedy, Jean-Pierre Mocky's Le deal (2007).

In addition to her seven years on Little House on the Prairie (1974), Alison guested on such cult classics as: The Love Boat (1977), Fantasy Island (1977) and the NBC movie of the week, I Married Wyatt Earp (1983), starring Marie Osmond.

She mocked her own status as an "ex-child star" on The Tonight Show with Jay Leno (1992), during their month-long parody, "Hollywood Survivor", and continues to be a frequent interview subject on everything from "A&E", "E! Entertainment", "TV Land" and "VH-1", to CNN and the Travel Channel. The TV Land network honored her on-screen image, by declaring her the winner of their 2006 award for, "Character Most Desperately In Need Of A Time Out".

Alison's stage work includes, "Sirena: Queen of the Tango", "Butterflies Are Free", "Hidden In The Laughter", "Dear Brutus", "The Wool Gatherer", "Cry Of Players", the French bedroom farce, "In One Bed And Out The Other", Michael Kearns' "AIDS/US II", and the role of "Rita" in the 2005 GLAAD Award nominated production of "Last Summer At Bluefish Cove". Most recently, she starred at the ACME Comedy Theatre in the Ovation Award-nominated musical-drama, "Flirting with Morty", as the abusive, trashy and tragic "Ray Lee".

As a stand-up comedian, Alison has headlined at nightclubs such as the Laugh Factory, the Comedy Store and the Improv in Los Angeles; as well as the Cutting Room in New York and assorted comedy venues all across the United States and Canada. Her one-woman show, "Confessions of a Prairie Bitch", which started at Club Fez in New York, has now become a world-wide phenomenon, having been performed to packed houses in New York, Los Angeles, Seattle, Maui and the south of France, where Alison performed entirely in French to a standing room only crowd at the "Palais des Congres" in her all French version titled: "Confessions d'une Garce de La Prairie"! She then took the show to Paris' Theatre Dejazet, where she received multiple standing ovations.

In 1986, when her friend and Little House on the Prairie (1974) husband co-star, Steve Tracy, passed away due to complications of HIV/AIDS, Alison immediately began volunteering at AIDS Project Los Angeles. Her duties ranged from working on the Southern California AIDS Hotline and the APLA food bank, (APLA's Necessities of Life Program,) to chairing the steering committee of the volunteer speakers bureau and developing "Safer Sex" workshops. She has provided AIDS education to doctors, nurses, prison inmates, service clubs, churches, department stores and schools, written AIDS education articles for the magazines "Frontiers" and "Designers West", and spent seven years hosting the APLA educational cable television show, "AIDS Vision". In 1992, Joel Wachs presented Alison with a resolution by the Los Angeles City Council commending her on her work on behalf of people living with HIV and AIDS.

From 1989 through 1993, she served as Program Manager at Tuesday's Child, an organization assisting children and families affected by HIV and AIDS. From 1989 through 2003, she served as both hostess and producer for the comedy stage at the AIDS Project Los Angeles Annual Summer Party, (on the backlot of Universal Studios), where through an evening of raucous entertainment, featuring name comedians, she helped to raise hundreds of thousands of dollars for people living with HIV.

She serves as California Chair, National Spokesperson and Founding Board Member on the National Advisory Board of The National Association to Protect Children (www.PROTECT.org), fighting to give children a legal and political voice in the war against child abuse. As an activist for the improvement of child protection laws, she has spoken before the California Senate and worked on legislative and political campaigns in several states, including Virginia and New York, in addition to PROTECT's work on federal legislation in Washington, D.C. She has appeared on numerous television news programs discussing the legal and political issues surrounding child abuse and molestation. She came forward to tell the world about the sexual abuse she suffered in her own life, during her 2004 interview on Larry King Live (1985).

She continues to be interviewed on this and other topics on Nancy Grace (2005), CNN's Showbiz Tonight (2005), Omg! Insider (2004), "Court TV" and Bill O'Reilly's The O'Reilly Factor (1996).

She takes pride in the fact that so many people enjoyed hating her as a girl and is more than happy to give them the opportunity to do so in the future.

- IMDb Mini Biography By: Alison Arngrim

Spouse (2)

Robert Paul Schoonover (6 November 1993 - present)
Donald Mark Spencer (8 April 1989 - 8 April 1993) (divorced)

Trivia (18)

Younger sister of Stefan Arngrim.
Her signature "Nellie Oleson curls" were a wig, which were held so tightly to her head that her scalp bled.
She often fainted on the Little House on the Prairie (1974) set because the show taped in California's Simi Valley, where the temperature was routinely 100+ degrees.
Worked as a poster model for 3 years after leaving Little House on the Prairie (1974).
Attended Dana Plato's 1999 funeral.
Following the AIDS-related death of the Little House on the Prairie (1974) husband, actor Steve Tracy, she began working as an AIDS activist. She regularly volunteered at AIDS Project Los Angeles and at Tuesday's Child, a family-oriented AIDS organization.
Good friends with Melissa Gilbert.
Has a step-daughter from her second husband.
Her husband is a musician
In Little House on the Prairie (1974), her character of Nellie Oleson was renowned for making life miserable for Laura Ingalls (Melissa Gilbert). Reportedly, at a parade many years after the show's run had come to an end, a fan threw a can of orange soda at Arngrim's head screaming: "I hate you for all the things you did to Laura!"
Is a vegetarian.
Daughter of Norma MacMillan and Thor Arngrim
Originally auditioned for the role of "Laura Ingalls" on Little House on the Prairie (1974).
After being passed over for the roles of Laura and Mary Ingalls in Little House on the Prairie (1974), she won the part of "Nasty" Nellie Oleson on the spot, after playing mean so convincingly in her audition.
Calls the character she played in Little House on the Prairie (1974), Nellie Oleson, "The living embodiment of PMS."
She is on the national advisory committee of the National Association to Protect Children. She has spoken in the media about her own experiences as a victim of child sexual abuse and helped lobby on behalf of a California law toughening sentences against abusers who victimize family members.
Was number 96 on vh1's The Greatest: 100 Greatest Kid Stars (2005)
Release of her book, "Confessions of a Prairie Bitch: How I Survived Nellie Oleson and Learned to Love Being Hated". [June 2010]

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