'Nellie' Gives Lowdown on 'Little House on the Prairie'

Arngrim's other best friend on the set was Steve Tracy, who played her on-screen husband, Percival Dalton, toward the end of the series. When Tracy contracted AIDS and went public with his diagnosis in the mid-1980s, Arngrim stood by him. She began volunteering for AIDS Project Los Angeles and speaking about the disease.

"Back then, people were even terrifed to have a presentation about the disease, but they'd say, 'Oh, it's the lady from "Little House."' I got into places and talked about HIV and AIDS where they would never have someone speak," Arngrim said.

Tracy died in 1986, but Arngrim continued to be an activist. Through AIDS Project, she met her husband Robert Paul Schoonover, who plays in the Southern California band Catahoula, and they've been married 17 years. She also got involved with the National Association to Protect Children.

While fighting to change a California law that allowed incest offenders to leave jail early, Arngrim decided to go public with her own childhood sexual abuse in a 2004 interview with Larry King.

"I remembered Steve going public," she said, "and thought the shoe is on the other foot now."

That opened the floodgates for Arngrim, who began touring her comedic one-woman show "Confessions of a Prairie Bitch," in which she talks about her years playing Nellie.

Find out what happened to some of Arngrim's fellow cast members since the series ended.

Melissa Gilbert/Laura Ingalls:

Melissa Gilbert as Laura and now.

Adopted soon after her birth, Gilbert grew up in a Hollywood family. After starring in dozens of television commercials, she landed the role of Laura Ingalls on "Little House" at age 8. Michael Landon became a surrogate dad to her when her own father died.

By her late teens, Gilbert rebelled against her perfect prairie girl image. She describes her battles with drug and alcohol abuse and co-dependence on men in her 2009 memoir "Prairie Tale."

Gilbert, who was once engaged to Rob Lowe, also dated John Cusack, Billy Idol and Tom Cruise. In 1998, she married actor Bo Brinkman and they had a son, Dakota. The marriage ended after four years. Since 1995, she's been married to actor Bruce Boxleitner and they have a son, Michael, named after Landon.

Known as the "Queen of television movies and mini-series," Gilbert, now 46, has starred in over 45 of them since the mid-'70s. The president of the Screen Actors Guild for two years, she can also be seen touting hair care products on late-night infomercials.

Michael Landon/Charles Ingalls:

Landon was a fixture on the small screen. In 28 years, he starred in three successful television series: "Bonanza" in the '60s and early '70s, "Little House" in the '70s and early '80s, and "Highway to Heaven" in the '80s.

Michael Landon as Charles Ingalls and in 1990.

He married three times and was father to nine children and stepchildren. In April 1991, he was diagnosed with an inoperable form of pancreatic cancer. Appearing on "The Tonight Show" with Johnny Carson, he asked his fans to pray for him. He died July 1, 1991 at age 54.

Melissa Sue Anderson/Mary Ingalls:

Melissa Sue Anderson as Mary and now.

Anderson won the role of Mary at age 11 after appearing in several television commercials and guest starring on "The Brady Bunch." She left "Little House" in 1982 and appeared in a few television series, including "The Equalizer" and "Murder, She Wrote."

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