Little House On The Prairie was loved around the world for its gentle drama and quaint family stories in the American Midwest.
Plotlines rarely ventured beyond the realms of Sunday School and town gossip and real trouble meant somebody being late for dinner.
But now cast member Alison Arngrim is lifting the lid on the more sensational details of life behind the scenes of the U.S. TV series.
In new memoir Confessions of a Prairie Bitch: How I Survived Nellie Oleson and Learned to Love Being Hated , she reveals she was the victim of child abuse at the hands of a family member.
In fact, playing the scheming brat Nellie Oleson helped her deal with the anger.
‘[Nellie] was a girl I grew to love,’ she writes. ‘She got me out of my house when I thought there was no escape.
‘She transformed me from a shy, abused little girl afraid of her own shadow to the in-your-face, outspoken, politically active, big-mouthed bitch I am today.’