Little House on the Prairie was before my time, but I used to watch the re-runs with my mom as a little girl and I would want to cut that stupid Nellie Oleson. Actress Alison Arngrim played this less than lovely character, and recently came out with a memoir brilliantly titled, Confessions of a Prairie Bitch: How I Survived Nellie Oleson and Learned to Love Being Hated. She writes about her childhood in hollywood - her life before Little House, and her life since. God, I hated that little snot, (Nellie not Alison - Alison is actually quite lovely).
Playing Nellie helped Alison grow into the (REALLY) funny and accomplished woman she is today. Nellie was out of control, which means Alison could be out of control. She was encouraged to completely freak out, which she used as an outlet for her struggles while growing up. I never thought of her as a role model, but she is. Alison is a survivor and more of an inspiration than you might think. Her memoir also includes insights on her costars and what it was like to grow up on camera in the 1970's. She is candid, interesting, touching and completely hilarious - how she manages to be all of those things? I have no idea.
But, I do know that I am really glad I took the time to get to know the real Alison Arngrim.
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