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15 Things You Don’t Know About Alison Arngrim

Alison Arngrim tells all—well, almost! As a child, the versatile star played one of TV’s most colorful, mischievous characters, Nellie Oleson. We asked Alison to share a few interesting tid-bits about her life. In true Nellie style, she was happy to dish!


By Alison Arngrim

1. I almost became a flight attendant. When I was really little, (probably my very first flight), American Airlines gave me a certificate that entitled me to a job interview on my 18th birthday. (Really. This was so long ago; they actually gave out “Stewardess” certificates for the girls and pilot certificates for the boys. Yeesh!) But I really loved flying – still do! – So I kept that thing for years and marked the date on the calendar!! However, by my 18th birthday, I was in my sixth year of Little House, so I was too busy to sign up for flight attendant school.

2. I am very compulsive about my peanut butter. I love peanut butter, but I hate peanut butter and jelly. Or peanut butter and ANYTHING. I am one of those weirdos who doesn’t like my peanut butter even touching anything else. No peanut butter and chocolate, no peanut butter and bananas; nope, none of it. Peanut butter goes on bread and sometimes celery sticks. Oh, it and it must be chunky, NOT creamy. It’s weird because, I’m not this particular about anything else. Just peanut butter.

3. I am extremely good at stain removal. I know all the tricks from those “Household hint” books and I can get nearly anything out of anything. I have rescued dozens of shirts, dresses, etc., after people said, “Oh no, that will never come out! It’s ruined!” Give me some baking soda or hair spray and I’ll have it as good as new.

4. I had a terrible lisp as a child and had to go to speech class after school. Yes, there are people who think that’s adorable, but this was before Cindy Brady made it popular and it was really awful. Because I had what was technically a “speech impediment” and went to class with stutterers, etc., I am rather sensitive about this sort of thing. (In case you’re wondering, yes, the Little House episode “The Music Box” where I had to torment the poor stuttering girl just about killed me.)

5. I‘m scared of moths. I’m NOT afraid of spiders – or rats, mice, tarantulas, snakes, lizards, – or any of the normal things that gross people out. But moths just give me the creeps.

6. When I was a little girl, I baby-sat part time for the adorable 2 year old next door – who grew up to be Oscar nominee Quinn Cummings, (“The Goodbye Girl”, “Family”). Yes, it was obvious even then that she was a genius. (She’s now an author of several very funny books and we’re buddies on Twitter.)

7. I do not have any tattoos. Nor do I have any plans to get one. I think they’re fine on other people. Just not me. (Living in Los Angeles, this makes me somewhat unusual, LOL!)

8. Unlike Nellie Oleson, I am a fabulous cook. I enjoy cooking and usually make things from scratch. I make dinner for my husband almost every night when I’m home and when we visit the in laws for Christmas, my sister-in-law and I make Christmas dinner. For 20 to 30 people.

9. I am a voracious reader. I’m usually reading several books at once, on all manner of topics. I read everything – history, science, true crime, horror, biography – you name it.

10. I absolutely love manicures and pedicures and acrylic nails. It’s my one huge concession to vanity. I get regular mani-pedis. My toes are always painted some outlandish color and my fingernails are always acrylic, even if they’re not long. Part of it is practical: My real nails tend to break while typing, etc., so I just get super hard acrylics and wear them short.

11. Yes, I am the grammar police. And the spelling police. English was my one of my better subjects in school and as a teenager I got hold of one of those “six minutes a day to better spelling” books. (I do sometimes use spell check, but mostly when I’m writing in French.)

12. I love rock and roll. My husband plays guitar and is in a band called Catahoula. I go to all their shows and even work the door and sell CDs! I am my husband’s groupie! They’re more old fashioned “Fleetwood Mac”/”Heart” style rock, but when I was a teenager I was a punk. I loved the Sex Pistols, the Clash, The Jam, Elvis Costello, Blondie, X Ray Specs, Wire, The Cramps, The Stranglers, The Buzzcocks, Ian Dury, you name it. I went to concerts every weekend and frequently showed up to the Little House set with torn jeans, punk band t-shirts and safety pins in my clothes.

13. I am absolutely lethal at Trivial Pursuit. I once won grand prize in a trivial pursuit contest at a county fair. I beat out 40 people and took home a three foot high plastic and metal trophy.

14. I love old cars. When I was a teenager I drove a 1957 Ford Ranchero, (with a 1965 Mustang 289 engine.) I have never owned an actual “new” car.

15. When I was in Junior High, for P.E. I took weightlifting, wrestling and golf. Oddly, I was only injured while playing golf. I can’t say I really excelled at any of these, but at one time I could execute a pretty mean half nelson.