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Alison Arngrim (American actress) Bio, Facts 

Alison Arngrim

Born Name: Alison Margaret Arngrim
Date of Birth: January 18, 1962
Place of Birth: New York City, New York, United States
Residence: Los Angeles, California, U.S.
Height: 1.62 m
Occupation: Actress, author
Spouse: Robert Paul Schoonover (m. 1993), Donald Spencer (m. 1989–1993)
Parent(s): Norma MacMillan, Thor Arngrim
Relatives: Stefan Arngrim (brother)

Alison Margaret Arngrim (born January 18, 1963) is a Canadian-American actress and author. Beginning her television career at the age of twelve, Arngrim is a Young Artist Award–Former Child Star "Lifetime Achievement" Award honoree, best known for her portrayal of Nellie Oleson on the NBC television series Little House on the Prairie from 1974 to 1981.

Early life
Arngrim's father, Thor Arngrim, was a Canadian-born Hollywood manager. Her mother, Norma MacMillan of Vancouver, British Columbia, was an actress who provided the voices for characters as Casper on Casper the Friendly Ghost, as Gumby on Gumby, as Davey on Davey and Goliath, and Sweet Polly Purebred on Underdog, as well as other animated children's programs.

Her brother, Stefan (b. 1955) was also a child actor, perhaps best known for his role as Barry Lockridge on the Irwin Allen science fiction television series, Land of the Giants. Arngrim has claimed that her brother sexually molested her from age six until nine.

Acting career
After beginning a career as a child model and actress in television commercials, Arngrim rose to fame as a child star in 1974, portraying the role of Nellie Oleson on the NBC television series Little House on the Prairie. She originally auditioned for the role of Laura Ingalls and, later, Mary Ingalls, but was instead cast in the role of antagonist Nellie Oleson. Arngrim would play the role of Nellie for seven seasons and her portrayal became a cultural reference and camp archetype for the spoiled "bad girl" throughout the 1970s.[citation needed]

Years later, in one of her stand-up routines, Arngrim described playing Nellie on Little House on The Prairie as "like having PMS for seven years." In 2002, she was honored by the Young Artist Foundation with its Former Child Star "Lifetime Achievement" Award for her work as a child actress on Little House. At the 2006 TV Land Awards, Arngrim tied with Danielle Spencer ('Dee' on What's Happening!!) as the "Character Most in Need of a Time-out" for her role as Nellie.

In addition to her role on Little House, Arngrim also recorded the comedy record album, Heeere's Amy, in which she portrayed first daughter Amy Carter. Her mother, who voiced the Kennedy children on the comedy albums of Vaughn Meader, also guest starred on the album. After leaving Little House, Arngrim appeared in guest-starring roles on such television series as The Love Boat and Fantasy Island. She was also a frequent panelist on the short-lived NBC game show Match Game-Hollywood Squares Hour.

In addition to performing, Arngrim also devotes her time to charitable organizations. One of her inspirations for her charity work is the memory of her friend and fellow actor Steve Tracy, who played the role of Nellie Oleson's husband, Percival Dalton, on Little House on the Prairie. Tracy died from complications of AIDS in 1986, after which Arngrim set her sights on becoming an activist for AIDS awareness including the organization ACT UP and working at AIDS hotline. She also focuses on other issues, such as child abuse, speaking frequently for and lobbying with the group PROTECT. In 2004, Arngrim revealed on Larry King Live that she herself was an incest survivor.

In 2010, Arngrim authored an autobiography titled Confessions of a Prairie Bitch: How I Survived Nellie Oleson and Learned to Love Being Hated. In the book she, for the first time, publicly identified her childhood abuser, though the book is mostly light-hearted and received critical praise for her ability to mix humor and personal tragedy.[citation needed] She wrote and performed a stage version, which premiered at Club Fez in New York. She later performed this one-person show at Parliament House, a gay resort in Orlando, Florida.

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Categories: 1962 births,American autobiographers,American television actresses,American child actresses,American women activists,HIV/AIDS activists,Actresses from New York (state),American people of Canadian descent,Women autobiographers

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