Katharine "Scottie" MacGregor was born in Glendale, Calif. on Jan. 12, 1925. Prior to Little House on the Prairie, Scottie gained most of her acting experience performing in a variety of on and off Broadway plays in and around New York City. She was also featured in small parts on several shows including Mannix (1970), Ironside (1972), Emergency (1972) and All in the Family (1973). Her big break came in 1974, when she was cast as the snobby, gossiping Harriet Oleson on Little House on the Prairie. On-screen, MacGregor brought Mrs. Oleson alive by becoming one of the most-loved and memorable mean characters in TV history.
She lives in the Hollywood Hills, occasionally writes, directs and produces plays for "The Wee Hollywood Vedanta Players," a children's theater group.
As the wife and co-owner of Walnut Grove's General Store, Harriet Oleson is a shrewd businesswoman. Never one to sympathize with her customers who do not have enough cash to pay for local goods, Harriet insists that her husband not allow people to have store credit. Her snobbery, nosey and gossiping ways are more than Nels can handle. But his disapproval certainly doesn't stop her elitist behavior. She is quick to instill the same superior thoughts and behavior to her two bratty children. Though she contends to be a good Christian woman, she consistently holds disdain for people with financial troubles, especially the Ingalls. They are among her least favorite people. But it's just possible that her feelings of disregard are really feelings of jealously for the upright Ingall family.