Meet Allison Balson, Fort Worthian from May

IIn 1981, the world was introduced to one of television’s first original mean girls: adopted “bad girl” Nancy Olesen on the series “Little House on the Prairie.” This role, which some consider to be the reincarnation of Nellie Oleson, who was written from the series a season previously, was played by Allison Balson.

It was a role she got by screaming.

“When I auditioned for the role of Nancy, I walked into the room and Michael (Landon) was in the casting room, which is rare enough in the industry that you meet the producer, the director, the lead star in your audition . But they wanted to hire ‘bad’ Nancy Oleson like yesterday. And they weren’t kidding.

Landing the role didn’t happen without her having to tap into her inner mean girl.

“Michael (Landon) looked at me and said, ‘Allison, I need you to yell something to me. I need you to say you hate me and make me believe it,'” she checks. Apparently, it worked because Balson was part of the cast of “Little House” until 1983.

This role would become Balson’s big break – yes, at the age of 11 – but it wasn’t his first time in front of a camera. Balson made her modeling debut at age 5, and by age 6, she was appearing in everything from a national M&M ad campaign to a Vivitar Camera commercial opposite film legend Orson Welles.

As she entered her teens, Balson began acting, making appearances on iconic television shows such as “CHIPs,” “Quincy, ME” and numerous after-school specials.

Besides modeling and acting, Balson was also involved in music from a young age. Growing up in the military, she says music was the foundation that kept her sane in a world of filmmaking and constant upheaval.

“I started with piano like many kids, but as soon as my parents gave me guitar lessons, it stuck with me,” Balson says. “(Music) has always been part of my life. It became my outlet as I grew up, became a teenager, and became an adult, because I could always sit down and write my thoughts down in lyrics and melody.

After moving to Fort Worth nearly a decade ago, Balson hosted and produced the syndicated radio show “Music Scene Live,” a talk show format featuring musical artists performing their music live original. And Balson herself is also dabbling in songwriting, recently releasing a new single, “My Friend.” It’s a song she wrote in honor of the late Michael Landon, who mentored her during her years on “Little House.” This year marks the 50th anniversary of the series, which makes the timing of this song’s release significant for Balson.

“The only regret I have is that I wasn’t able to share how I felt about (Landon) when he was alive, but honestly his passing only made me think about him again,” she says. She. “And when I think back to what I learned working with him on that set and the friendship he gave me during that time… it really influenced me as an actor and songwriter .”


FM: Why did you decide to move to Fort Worth out of all the places you’ve visited and lived?

A B: It’s true, I’ve been everywhere, but Fort Worth sang me a song when I got here. Fort Worth has an incredibly eclectic scene, and the songwriters and musicians here are phenomenal, and I hope people open their eyes and recognize the talent that is here. One thing I also love about Fort Worth is the history. It’s true. The Chisholm Trail. Oh my God. And every time I come to the Stockyards, I also learn something new. Los Angeles is also one of my homes. And the history there is very different from that of Texas. I mean, where else can you witness an authentic cattle drive twice a day?

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