Melissa Gilbert and Alison Arngrim may have been arch enemies in Little House on the Prairie. But in real life, they were as close as kin.
In her new book titled My Prairie Cookbook, the 58-year-old star wrote that people constantly ask her who she was closest with the classic TV set. And while she notably had a meaningful bond with Michael Landon, there was one child star who was—and still is—her best friend.
“Hands down, [it’s]Alison Arngrim, who played Nellie Oleson,” Gilbert admitted. “She’s the only cast member aside from Mike that I had a consistent relationship with off the set.”
During an interview with Fox News, Melissa Gilbert shared that she and her Little House on the Prairie counterpart were instantly joined at the hip. When they weren’t filming, they were having slumber parties. And nearly every weekend, they were visiting each other’s houses.
And though it’s been nearly 40 years since Gilbert and Arngrim said goodbye to the nineteenth-century American Midwest, their connection never went away.
“We are still really close today. Mostly because she’s smart and funny and kind …,” Gilbert continued in her book.
‘Little House on the Prairie’ Fans Are Shocked by Melissa Gilbert’s Choice of Friends
On many occasions, Melissa Gilbert has shared that her choice of friends has been a topic of discussion for decades. Most people expected her to be chummy with her onscreen sister Melissa Sue Anderson. But Anderson notably admitted that she and Gilbert did not click.
“I honestly do not have a lot of memories of the two of us,” she said. “We were very, very different.”
And Gilbert doubled down on that sentiment during a cast reunion in 2014.
“[Anderson] looked at us like we were total juvenile delinquents,” she revealed. ” I think she thought we would get her in trouble if she hung out with us, which is perfect for her character because Mary was such a little narc.”
But it wasn’t just her famous co-star who gave Gilbert and Arngrim strange looks. When fans saw the two spending time together in public, they’d be shocked. And many times, people couldn’t see past the girls’ fictional personas, so they’d want to intervene and save Laura from her spoiled on-screen nemesis.
“The two of us would go places together,” Gilbert told Entertainment Weekly. “And people would try to protect me from her. Even when I was ten, I’d want to say, ‘Come on, it’s a TV show.’”
“I remember we were 13 and at a supermarket together,” she remembered. “She went over to one aisle to look for something and people recognized us. And they suddenly felt compelled to protect her from me, like I was coming for her. People were just freaked out that we were friends and would go to places together. We still do.”