Little House on the Prairie star Alison Arngrim starred in the series for seven seasons. During her time on the show, she became close to many of her co-stars. Arngrim says one of her co-stars of her died before his time of her.
Alison Arngrim’s first impression of ‘Little House on the Prairie’
During an interview with megyn kellyArngrim spoke about her time on Little House on the Prairie. She says she auditioned for a few other roles before trying out for the role of Nellie Oleson. She auditioned for both Mary and Laura. That didn’t work out, but she says she wowed the producers with her interpretation of Nellie.
Arngrim says the first thing she noticed about little house was that it had a big cast. Since she kept getting called back to read for different roles, Arngrim joked that she said to herself at the time, “How many people are on this thing?”
Alison Arngrim says this co-star died before his time
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One co-star Arngrim grew close to was Steve Tracy. He played Percival Dalton, the husband of her character, Nellie Oleson. In her book of hers, Confessions of a Prairie B****Arngrim reveals she thought Tracy was “cute” when she first met him.
The chemistry between Arngrim and Tracy was so magnetic that people thought they were dating in real life. Tracy was gay but he hadn’t come out yet. Arngrim later found out Tracy was gay, but that didn’t affect their friendship. Arngrim says she and Tracy would attend red carpet events together and hang out whenever they had the chance.
Arngrim says Tracy didn’t need a “cover” relationship because she was always with him. During that time, some gay actors would engage in fake relationships with someone of the opposite sex to conceal their true identity.
Unfortunately, Arngrim and Tracy’s friendship was cut short. Tracy was diagnosed with AIDS in 1986 at the age of 32. At first, he told her he had cancer, but a year later, he revealed her real diagnosis. Arngrim says during this time, there were no advanced treatments for AIDS, so the outlook was grim. “I was going to have to watch my friend die,” Arngrim wrote.
Steve Tracy’s death
Before his death, Tracy took part in experimental treatments. Arngrim says he fought hard to live as long as he could. Although the treatments were painful, Tracy stuck with it so he could help others. Arngrim says Tracy thought about the lives he might be able to save down the road.
In addition, Tracy attended workshops and seminars held by self-help author Louise Hay (a favorite of Jennifer Lopez). Hay was a cancer survivor who wrote a book titled Heal Your Body. The book is about how she relied on positive thinking and meditation. Arngrim says the AIDS community “embraced” Hay’s message.
Despite his best efforts, Tracy’s health continued to decline. Tracy died of AIDS-related complications on Thanksgiving Day on November 27, 1986. “He was the first of our little house cast to die before his time,” wrote Arngrim. “We didn’t know then how many more we would lose.”
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