Who Is Nancy on ‘Little House on the Prairie’?

The beloved television series, Little House on the Prairie, included a few troublemakers. Nellie Oleson teased and even fought Laura Ingalls in school. Her younger adoptive sister, Nancy Oleson, created trouble within her own family, especially with her adoptive brother, Willie. 

Here’s what we know about Nancy Oleson and the actor behind this Little House on the Prairie character.

'Little House on the Prairie' episode titled 'May I Have This Dance'
‘Little House on the Prairie’ episode titled ‘May I Have This Dance’ | NBCU Photo Bank/NBCUniversal via Getty Images via Getty Images

Who was Nancy Oleson on ‘Little House on the Prairie’?

Nellie Oleson was trouble for the Ingalls family during Little House on the Prairie. As a student in Laura’s class, she was often causing problems for her family, flaunting her newest dresses and school supplies. 

However, Nellie Oleson was nothing compared to the youngest of the Oleson children. That was the adopted daughter named Nancy Olson, who had a knack for getting out of work. 

Nancy Oleson was the adopted daughter of Nels and Harriet Oleson, although she didn’t want to be adopted at first. Eventually, she got used to her lavish lifestyle, taking after her adoptive mother with extravagant dresses and hairbows. 

The Ingalls family was not as wealthy. As a result, Laura didn’t always get along with the eldest Oleson child, Nellie. Her relationship with Nancy was just as bad. The two were always getting into fights, most of them started by Nancy. Nancy even got into disagreements with her adoptive brother, Willie.

As she became more comfortable in her home, Nancy and Willie’s relationship got even worse. When Nancy refused to do work because of the summer heat, Willie decided to pour water on her head. This character often bullied other classmates and even had one boy do her homework.

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Who portrayed Nancy Oleson on ‘Little House on the Prairie’?

Little House on the Prairie featured well-known actors of the time, like Michael Landon, who portrayed Pa Ingalls. Melissa Gilbert acted as the main character, Laura Ingalls.

The character of Nancy Oleson was portrayed by the actor Allison Balson. This actor appeared on several episodes before Little House on the Prairie debuted its finale in 1983.

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This series predominately followed members of the Ingalls family as they navigated school, relationships, and life on the prairie. However, there were plenty of other characters, some of whom lived in the town of Walnut Grove. 

That includes members of the Oleson family, who owned the town’s general store. Mr. Edwards acted as a close friend of the Ingalls family, providing support for Laura and her siblings. Albert became the adopted son of Charles and Caroline Ingalls.

The Little House on the Prairie television series has since ended, but fans can watch episodes on several networks, which broadcast episodes featuring characters like Nancy Oleson.