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Little House on the Prairie

Richard Bull

Nels Oleson

Richard Bull has had a long and extensive acting career. Born June 26, 1924, he has worked in most performance mediums. On stage, he acted in many plays including "The Caretaker," "Relatively Speaking" and "Days in the Dark Light." Among his numerous appearances in motion pictures, he was featured in A Different Story, In Like Flint and The Thomas Crown Affair. Bull also made countless TV appearances, including The Andy Griffith Show, Bewitched, Mission: Impossible, Gunsmoke and Bonanza. But in 1974, Bull landed the role that made him a cast member of one of the most notable series in TV history. For nine years, Bull superbly played the role of the Nels Oleson, the emasculated husband and wealthy business owner on Little House on the Prairie. It was a role that made him one of the most-sympathized characters on TV.

But after the successful run of Little House, Bull's career continued to shine. He was featured in Hill Street Blues, Designing Women, The Larry Sanders Show, and even reunited with his Little House co-stars Michael Landon and Victor French when he had a guest role on their hit series, Highway to Heaven.

Character Bio

Nels Oleson is the well-to-do general store owner. He's a quiet-type who's often known for being sympathetic towards the local townspeople who often don't have cash to pay for items. Nels will often allow people to start a line of credit in the store, much to his wife's chagrin. His nagging wife would prefer that he not sell items to the locals if they can't afford to pay. But Nels big heart won't allow him to see people go without. And with two spoiled children to contribute to his agony, Nels knows about suffering.