Katherine “Scottie” MacGregor, best known for her role as Harriet Oleson on “Little House on the Prairie,” died Tuesday in Woodland Hills, California, her representative confirmed to NBC News. She was 93.
MacGregor played the gossipy, mean-spirited Harriet Oleson for 153 episodes of the popular 1970s series. On the show, she and her daughter Nellie (Alison Arngrim) served as the sour foils to the wholesome Ingalls, including Pa (Michael Landon) and Laura (Melissa Gilbert).
Born Dorlee Deane MacGregor in 1925 in Glendale, California, MacGregor grew up in Colorado and changed her name to “Scottie” after relocating to New York, where she received applause for her theatrical roles. She moved to California and appeared in 1954’s “On the Waterfront” in an uncredited role, then began to work in television on shows like “Ironside,” “Emergency!” and “Mannix.”
“It was a rude awakening coming to Hollywood,” she told the Santa Cruz Sentinel in 1981, according to the “Little House on the Prairie” official website. “I was used to doing juicy parts on the stage … They didn’t know what to do with me.”
Then came the role that would define her career.