Alison Arngrim said that Shannen Doherty was a "clone" of Melissa Gilbert on the show "Little House on the Prairie."

Alison Arngrim joined the original cast of Little House on the Prairie in 1973. In the show's first few seasons, it was mostly about the Ingalls family. Laura Ingalls (Melissa Gilbert), who played Almanzo Wilder, changed in more stories as time went on (Dean Butler). 

During the eighth season of the show, Little House, several new actors joined the cast. In her book Confessions of a Prairie, Arngrim talked about how she felt about the new co-stars. 

How Alison Arngrim got the part of Mary in "Little House on the Prairie" 

Arngrim went to a lot of auditions before she was cast as Nellie Oleson on Little House on the Prairie. Thor Arngrim and Norma MacMillan, the child actor's parents at the time, were also in show business. She had trouble getting jobs in the industry while she was auditioning. Before she started acting, the actor wrote that she was afraid of being "washed up" when she was 11. 

When she tried out for Little House in May 1974, Arngrim finally got her big break. She first tried out for Laura and then for Mary Ingalls (Melissa Sue Anderson). Arngrim read for the part of Nellie after being called back several times. During the audition, she said that Landon and the other producers were "laughing hysterically" as she read the lines for "Country Girls," Nellie's first episode. Arngrim was hired right away. 

"By the time I got in the car with my dad and drove away, my agent had already called to tell me that the wardrobe fitting was on Tuesday," the actor said. "They hired me right away. I was speechless." 

The actor who played Nellie Oleson said that two "Little House on the Prairie" actors were clones. 

Arngrim stayed with the cast of Little House on the Prairie for seven years after she was cast as Nellie. During her time on the show, her character did a lot of great things, like fight with Laura in season 1. People also saw Nellie's family life, including her mother, Mrs. Oleson (Katherine MacGregor), and her brother, Willie Oleson (Jonathan Gilbert). 

Arngrim wrote that as she and the other original cast members aged, the show added more child actors. She did say that Shannen Doherty and Allison Balson were used to make Laura and Nellie look like they were for a younger audience. In 1982, Doherty got the part of Almanzo's niece Jenny Wilder, who moves in with Almanzo and Laura. Balson also played Nancy Oleson, who was Mrs. Oleson's adopted daughter. 

"Shannen Doherty, before she was on 90210, plays Jenny. In the early years, she does her best to act like Melissa Gilbert," Arngrim wrote. "She is part of the "cloning process" that happened in the last few years of the show, when new little girls with braids fought new little girls with ringlets." 

In 1982, Alison Arngrim left the show "Little House on the Prairie." 

Soon after the new people started working on Little House on the Prairie, Arngrim left the show to try out for other parts. In the early 1980s, she had several guest roles on The Love Boat and Fantasy Island. Celebrity Net Worth says that the actor has a net worth of $400,000 right now. 

Arngrim often talks about her time on Little House on the Prairie since she left the show. The actor also wrote a book about her experiences as a child actor. During her comedy show, she talks about those experiences. She also said that she wouldn't mind if the NBC show started up again.


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