Alison Arngrim Celebrates At The Castle, Interview

HOLLYWOOD —Alison Arngrim Celebrates her 48th Birthday with “Confessions of a Prairie Bitch” at Cabaret at the Castle in Hollywood.

“Someone has called me a bitch to my face every single day of my life since I was 11-years-old,” declares Alison Arngrim in her hit one-woman show entitled “Confessions of a Prairie Bitch” that opened this week, after an extend tour abroad, in the Inner Circle of the world famous Magic Castle as part of their new Comedy at the Castle Series.



Alison Arngrim, best known to viewers worldwide for her portrayal of the incredibly nasty Nellie Oleson on the much loved, long running hit television series “Little House On The Prairie” (now running in more than 140 countries), continues to amuse audiences through her many film, television as well as stage appearances of her popular one-woman show.

This irreverent and hysterically funny satire about life on and off of the Prairie, explains with side-splitting humor that growing up Arngrim apparently defied stereotypical definitions of family life in America during the ’70s and ’80s. She grew up in a world where being called “straight” meant boring and uptight, while the word “cunt” held compliment potential and sexual lines were blurred with role models like Liberace and “Auntie Christine,” known to the rest of the world as Christine Jorgensen (the first widely-known individual to have sex reassignment surgery from male to female).



Her father was Thor Arngrim, a respected personal manager who handled the careers of noted personalities such as Liberace, Susan Anton, Peter Jurasik, Michael Ontkean and Debbie Reynolds. Her mother was Norma MacMillan, who supplied the voices for many of our favorite childhood character such as Gumby, Casper and Underdog’s girlfriend “Sweet Polly Purebred.” In Alison’s childhood, working in the entertainment industry was just something everyone did.

Patron’s vied for the opportunity to ask their favorite bitch questions by pre-filling out questionnaire cards made available before the show.

About life in Walnut Grove? “I don’t want to live in any century where you can’t get a botox injection and a green apple martini. Preferably at the same time.” About working with Michael Landon, she explained “The man knew his viewing audience were primarily women,” which explained prolonged scenes with his shirt off and the fact that he wore tight pants with no underwear. About becoming the worlds most famous Bitch? “Anyone can be liked, it takes talent to be scare the shit out of people.” Of course, there were also those who sought out the bad seed’s opinions and theories on other topics such as “Who Shot JFK?”



Alison recent work includes the independent films “For the Love of May” with Ru Paul and Patricia Neal and “The Last Place On Earth” with Billy Dee Williams and Phyllis Diller. She recently began her foray into French cinema with the role of “Edith” in the French detective comedy, Jean Pierre Mocky’s “Le Deal” and just starred in last Christmas’s run away hit, “Make The Yuletide Gay.” Alison will be releasing her memoir’s entitled, “Confessions of a Prairie Bitch: How I Survived Nellie Oleson and Learned to Love Being Hated,” through Harper Collins in June 2010.

In tribute to the historic venue, Ms. Arngrim added a bit of magic to her show by allowing established magician Mark Donovan to perform a bit of playful though slightly revengeful magic on America’s favorite bad girl for “giving my sister ideas on how to torture me,” and proceeding to subject Alison’s body multiple body piercings via an illusion called the “Spikes of Doom.”

The Magic Castle began its life as a private home built in 1909 by banker and real estate magnate Rollin B. Lane. Mr. Lane owned much of what is now Hollywood, dreaming of turning his land into orange groves, farms and ranches. Now, known as The Magic Castle, it is the private clubhouse for the Academy of Magical Arts, Inc, a very special organization devoted to the advancement of the ancient art of magic. The purpose of The Academy is to encourage and promote public interest in the art of magic with particular emphasis on preserving its history as an art form, entertainment medium, and hobby. Beginning with a charter membership of 150, the Academy has grown into a world-renowned fraternal organization with a membership of nearly 5,000. As THE showplace for some of the greatest magicians from around the globe, they take great pride in showcasing the magnificent building that houses the Magic Castle. This storied mansion has watched Hollywood grow and change for almost 100 years while never losing its original charm.


Photographs Courtesy: Brian Putnam