“Little House On the Prairie” star Richard Bull has died. According to a Feb. 4 report from USA Today, the actor, who played Nels Oleson on the popular 1970s drama, died of natural causes at a Los Angeles hospital after being hospitalized with pneumonia. He was 89 years old.
In addition to his role as rich (but henpecked) mercantile owner Nels Oleson, Bull’s career included recurring appearances on “Mannix” and “Voyage to the Bottom of the Sea.” His most recent role was in 2011, on the Starz political drama “Boss.”
Following Bull’s death, his “Little House” co-stars mourned the loss of their longtime friend.
Melissa Gilbert, who played Laura Ingalls on the show, posted a picture of Bull on Twitter with the caption: “This man will be missed. Goodbye Richard working with you was such a joy but nearly as joyful as being your friend.”
Allison Arngrim, who played Bull’s daughter, Nellie Oleson, on the series tweeted a somber: “Goodbye Pa.” The actress, who is famous for her role as the spoiled rich girl, later added: “Maximilian Schell, Phillip Seymour Hoffman, Richard Bull. Extremely prolific character actors, gentle, kind men dedicated to their craft.”
Arngrim later thanked fans for their outpouring of love and support following the death of her TV dad.
In a stamen posted by Variety, the actress said, “Today we lost my TV ‘Pa,’ the wonderful Richard Bull. In real life, he was just as kind, intelligent, thoughtful and reasonable as you’d expect Nels Oleson to be. I am so grateful that I was able to spend time with him and his wife Bobbie over the last year. I am truly very touched by the overwhelming — and world wide — outpouring of love for Richard Bull.”