Alison Arngrim is a Canadian-American actress known for her portrayal of the despicable Nellie Olson in the long-running television drama series, Little House on the Prairie. She was rewarded with a Former Child Star Lifetime Achievement Award in 2002 by the Young Artist Foundation for the superb work she did as a child actor on the show.
She is also a New York Times Best Selling author of a memoir titled Confessions of A Prairie Bitch: How I Survived Nellie Oleson and Learned to Love Being Hated. She later rewrote the book into a one-woman show that she has performed across the U.S and France. Alison is deeply involved in activism and charity work.
Alison Arngrim Bio (Age)
The child star was born on January 28, 1962, to Thor Arngrim and Norma MacMillan, in New York City. She was the younger of two children. Alison began acting at a very young age, featuring in commercials, and scoring small roles in movies like Throw Out the Anchor, until her breakthrough role in 1974, when she was cast to play the spoiled, mean-spirited, and annoying Nellie Oleson on Little House on the Prairie.
Nellie was a major character on the show. However, when her character fell in love and got married, her impact on the show diminished and she agreed to be written off the series, but she returned for a final episode in 1984.
Leveraging her success on the show, she began to feature in series like The Love Boat, Fantasy Island, and I Married Wyatt Earp. She also began doing stand-up, performing in comedy clubs across the country and Canada. She created a hilarious one-woman show based on her time playing Nellie that became very popular. Alison Arngrim has also starred in some comedy series such as Life Interrupted, Bewitched, and C.P.R. – Child Performers Resurrection Talent Agency, in which she played a former child star trying to climb back up the ladder by opening her own talent agency.
Alison is known for regularly mocking her “ex-child star” status, although she is really grateful because her acting back then provided her with relief from her troubled childhood. Some of her other acting credits include Make the Yuletide Gay, Tinder & Grinder, Livin’ the Dream, The Last Place On Earth, and Le Deal. She has also taken her talent to the stage, featuring in productions like Sirena: Queen of the Tango, The Wool Gatherer, Dear Brutus, Rita, Flirting with Morty, and Last Summer At Bluefish Cove.
The actress took an interest in activism when her friend and co-star, Steve Tracy, died from AIDS-related complications. She began volunteering at the AIDS Project Los Angeles, where she worked the hotlines and spoke at safe sex workshops. She spends her time educating others about the disease and helping to raise money for people affected and living with AIDS.
Her memoir has received critical acclaim for how deftly it explores personal tragedy through humourous lenses.
Her Net Worth
Alison has been active in Hollywood for over four decades, this made it possible for her to accumulate a sizeable wealth from her well-paying acting and comedy gigs. She is estimated to be worth $400,000 at the moment.
Spouse and Kids
Alison Arngrim has had a busy relationship life. She dated René Simard for three years before the relationship ended in 1984. She went on to date the writer, Donald Spencer, and said “I Do” to him in 1989. Things were going really well until the marriage turned sour and they got divorced after four years of matrimony, citing irreconcilable differences.
The actress met Bob Schooner when he was directing the Southern California AIDS Hotline, and they began going out. On November 6, 1993, Alison married the musician in a private and intimate ceremony, and the two have been together ever since. The couple is yet to have any children and Alison is yet to become a mom.
Siblings and Family
A good number of Alison’s family members are also in show business. Her father worked as a manager in Hollywood, he once handled Liberace’s career, while her mother was an actress who voiced characters on projects like Casper the Friendly Ghost, Gumby, Underdog, and Davey and Goliath. Her older brother, Stefan was also a child actor, best known for his portrayal of the character Barry Lockridge on Land of the Giants, a sci-fi television series.
Alison Arngrim had a traumatic childhood: her brother Stefan began sexually assaulting her when she was only 6 years old, the molestation continued for three years, stopping when she was nine. Alison named him as her abuser in her memoir and has since openly spoken about the incident on interviews and shows.