"Little House on the Prairie": How Melissa Gilbert felt about Alison Arngrim leaving the show.


Little House on the Prairie made Melissa Gilbert famous as Laura Ingalls. Even though Alison Arngrim played her rival, Nellie Oleson, in the historical drama, she and Nellie Oleson became good friends in real life. 

When Arngrim decided not to renew her contract after the seventh season, she wanted to tell her friend and co-star in person. 

Alison Arngrim left "Little House" because of a problem with the contract. 

People in Walnut Grove knew Nellie as the mean girl. In season six, though, she fell in love with Percival Dalton (Steve Tracy) and changed into a kind, grown-up person. The change in Nellie also meant that there was less material in the scripts, so when Arngrim's contract was up for renewal, she had to think of other things to do. The actor didn't like that NBC wouldn't let her negotiate her salary or give her more screen time. 



"The network turned down all of my agent's requests for raises, extra episodes, or any kind of compromise, no matter how small," Arngrim wrote in her autobiography, Confessions of a Prairie B****. "Their offer was the same money and the same terms for four years. You could take it or leave it." 

Arngrim turned down the offer to stay on Little House so that she could learn more about the world. 


"I didn't have to think about it for very long," she said. "I was ready to try my luck at a job outside of the prairie. I turned down NBC's last proposal." 

Melissa Gilbert did better when she tried to get a contract. 

Both Arngrim and Gilbert grew up on Little House and became good friends while they were there. Arngrim told her friend that she wouldn't be going back to Walnut Grove. 

"After everything happened, I also called Melissa," said Arngrim. "She didn't seem surprised by what I told her, but the girl is solid and knew everything on the set. She probably knew I wasn't coming back even before I did." 

It seems that when Gilbert was negotiating her contract, she also wanted a pay raise. Since Laura was such a big part of Little House on the Prairie, Gilbert had some freedom. 

"She said she had argued and held out, almost threatening to blow the place up, just to get a small raise in pay," Arngrim wrote of Gilbert. "In the end, though, the network gave in. Hey, you can't have Little House without Half-Pint, right? 

Melissa Gilbert gave a gift to the "Little House" star. 

Gilbert was sad that she and Arngrim would no longer be on screen together, but she knew why she was leaving. 

"'I don't blame you,'" Arngrim remembered what Gilbert had said to her. "'But without you, life will be pretty dull.'" 

Later, Gilbert sent Arngrim a gift with a funny note, which was typical of how they got along during the seven seasons they were on the show together. 

"Then, for my birthday in January, she sent me a gift," Arngrim said. "A cute little screaming baby charm made of gold. She said that it reminded her of me, which is kind of true, and she wrapped the box in the L.A. Times want ads. She wrote on the package, "You'll probably need these now."



Source: Cheatsheet.com

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