His best (and worst) memories of “Little House on the Prairie.”

Blonde curls and has become a cult. It’s been 50 years since Alison Arngrim played the obnoxious Nellie Oleson in “Little House on the Prairie.” The now 62-year-old American actress happily celebrated with the rest of the cast of the series during the Monte-Carlo TV Festival. A chance to film your good – and not so good – memories.

Paris competition. The “Little House on the Prairie” series is celebrating its 50th anniversary. What inspires you this anniversary?
Alison Arngrim. 50 years? But does that mean how old we are now? People have asked me if this is making us old. I said yes, but we’re all still awesome. Have you seen Karen Cross? [qui jouait Caroline Ingalls] ? Seriously, who is like that at 82? (Laughs). It’s incredible.

Did you expect such longevity?
You have to remember that when we filmed the series, cable television hadn’t been invented yet, and DVDs and streaming were few and far between. The idea that people will still be watching it 50 years from now… Michael Landon knows. He took us all away, Dean [Butler, l’interprète d’Almanzo]Melissa [Gilbert, alias Laura Ingalls] And others, to tell us: “Years after we’re all gone, and after I’m dead, they’ll be watching the show. »

Michael Landon, Alison Arngrim and Melissa Gilbert in “Little House on the Prairie” in 1975.

© NBCU Photo Bank/NBCUniversal via Getty Images

It’s strange to think he knew someone who died so young [en 1991, d’un cancer, à seulement 54 ans]. When he said that, people responded that it was a great idea, but it was crazy. Why would they stare for so long and how? Here we are 50 years later!

Why do you think audiences are so connected to the series?
There is something emotional about this series. Viewers recognize their own family when watching “Little House on the Prairie.” People come up to me and tell me how much it reminds them of their childhood when they watched it with their grandparents. The series aired in 140 countries and we met fans from all over the world, including Peru! This is very surprising to us.

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Alison Arngrim, Leslie Landon, Karen Crossley, Wendy Lou Lee, Melissa Sue Anderson, Matthew Labierdoux Celebrating 50 Years

Alison Arngrim, Leslie Landon, Karen Crossley, Wendy Lou Lee, Melissa Sue Anderson, Matthew Labiertoux celebrate 50 years of “Little House on the Prairie” at the Monte-Carlo Television Festival on June 15, 2024.

SYSPEO/SIPA / © SYSPEO/SIPA

When you see fans driving for hours to take their seats at the Forum Grimaldi at 4am in the hope of seeing you later in the evening…does this excitement still surprise you?
It continues to shock us. You know how some fans get “Little House on the Prairie” tattoos? There’s a man at the Monte-Carlo festival with a tattoo on his shoulder about the house. He autographed it for me a while back and he went to a tattoo artist to get my signature tattooed. Another had a huge portrait of Nellie Oleson on his forearm, signed me, and went to the tattoo artist. I believe I have at least four tattoos in my autograph today.

As soon as I started working on the series, I entered my grandeur and swooned.

Alison Arngrim

Is there an episode that fans talk to you about the most?
Yes, the episode “Bunny” where I roll down a hill in a wheelchair and end up in a pool. Because who does that? No seat belts, I wore my nightgown and slippers, it was very dangerous, but still my favorite episode. I’ve seen that scene a million times and still laugh at it. I am very proud!

What is your best memory from filming?
So much in seven years! It is very difficult to choose. That was the day I met Steve Tracy, who played my husband Percival on the show. When your character gets married, you never know who you’re going to marry on TV, so you hope he’s going to be cute and handsome…and this great guy, Steve, looks adorable with his quirks. We became friends immediately. I thought to myself, “If I’m going to kiss someone on TV, sleep with them, and marry them, I might as well marry them.” »

Steve Travi and Alison Arngrim (Percival and Nellie Olsen) in the series

Steve Travi and Alison Arngrim (Percival and Nellie Olsen) in the 1980 series “Little House on the Prairie”.

NBCU Photo Bank/NBCUniversal via Getty Images / © NBCU Photo Bank/NBCUniversal via Getty Images

And do you want to forget the memory of the shooting?
The first day of shooting. It was over 37 degrees and I was all dressed up and with my hair down and it was really hot. I was about to do my first line, and I swear, the sky turned green, the grass turned blue, and it was so weird. Everything went dark, “I think I’m going to pass out!” » and boom. I collapsed. Lo and behold, I started working on the series, made my grand entrance, and swooned. It’s a bit serious (laughs).

You’ve been called “Nellie Oleson” for 50 years. Would you have liked to be known for something other than this role?
Yes, of course, as an actress, you want to be known for multiple roles. But you never chose what you were known for. Whether you are a famous actor, painter or singer, it is impossible to predict that magical thing that everyone loves. When I look back on everything I’ve done, I’d say if there’s only one thing I remember, it’s Nellie Olsen.

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