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Arngrim to return to the prairie

Actress who portrayed ‘Nellie’ on ‘Little House’ to appear in Walnut Grove next week

July 14, 2012
By Cindy Votruba , Marshall Independent

The last time Alison Arngrim came to Walnut Grove, there were so many people in the gift shop that the bonnet display got broken.

Arngrim, who portrayed Nellie Oleson on "Little House on the Prairie," is returning to Walnut Grove July 21-22. She's also in the Midwest for a while, which includes an appearance at Laurapalooza in Mankato and a couple of her stand-up shows in St. Paul.

"I'm sort of moving into the prairie for two weeks," Arngrim said. She was last in Walnut Grove in 2010.

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Alison Arngrim, who played Nellie Oleson on “Little House on the Prairie,” will visit Walnut Grove July 21-22.

Arngrim's been keeping busy touring, which includes a new show "Nellie Oleson's Trunk of Treasures" as well as being on the jury for the International TV Festival in Monte Carlo earlier this summer. She said the jury watched the first part of 20 different mini-series.

Arngrim's latest stage show is audience-interactive, she said, kind of like a "Choose Your Own Adventure."

And her memoir, which came out in 2010, is still popular among "Little House on the Prairie" fans, she said, especially the ones overseas.

"They (the French) cannot get enough," Arngrim said.

Arngrim, who turned 50 this year, said that if anyone had told her that there would be fans that obsessive about a television show, she "never would've believed it." She added that there is a Twitter kind of role-playing game based around the show where people "tweet" as different characters.

"It's definitely twisted," Arngrim said about the "Little House on the Prairie" Twitter.

American shows, such as "Little House" and "Dallas" are most revered overseas, Arngrim said, in a "borderline religious way."

"Little House" is a show that can make you both cry your eyes out and laugh, Arngrim said. When she does her stand-up show in New York, she'll notice audience members in bonnets and braids. She can go anywhere in the world and be recognized.

"I knew there would be a market for the book," Arngrim said about her memoir. She's planning on doing a followup to the memoir, as when she wrote her other one, it brought more questions. She plans to answer those questions with the second book.

Arngrim's memoir was No. 30 on the New York Times best-selling list.

"They're still reading (it), people are reading them five to six times," she said.

And Arngrim's noticing that "Little House" fans are not people her age.

"There's a huge gaggle of girls in their 20s, 26 to 32," she said.

Arngrim recently did a pilot for a television show "Livin' the Dream." She did the read-through back in January and her character is a conservative, busy-body mother who wants her son to go into law or politics, but the son doesn't want that.

"I have no idea who's airing it or when (but) it's a scream," Arngrim said about the pilot. "Personally I think it's a shoo-in for TV Land."



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