• James Karen played the bad guy in Little House on the Prairie
  • Viewers projected the role onto the actor
  • They wanted him fired

We'll tell you why the Little House on the Prairie actor James Karen († 94) almost lost his job due to his great performance as "Nathan Lassiter".

James Karen was also a spokesman for a supermarket chain 

James Karen was not only the villain in Little House on the Prairie but also the spokesman for the supermarket chain Pathmark from the early 70s.

Every year, he recorded hundreds of commercials that were shown across television screens every day. He was thereby known as "Mr. Pathmark". According to CBR.com, James Karen saw that permanent position in jeopardy after playing the villain "Nathan Lassiter" so well.

The last episode of Little House on the Prairie is still spoken to this day because "Walnut Grove," the location where the show was set, was blown up. Blame it on "Nathan Lassiter" who bought the entire land. The grove's residents didn't want to leave the land to him just like that, so they set "Walnut Grove" on fire.

Also Interesting:

The actor played the villain so well back then that some viewers personally blamed him for the dramatic ending. Disappointed viewers sent letters to the supermarket chain, demanding James Karen's resignation.

Luckily that didn't happen as James Karen answered all letters and even called some customers. He told The Hollywood Reporter at the time: "All the customers were happy I called and I think I convinced them that Mr. Pathmark is a benign kind of guy. I hope so, anyhow."

It seemed to have worked, as James Karen was a spokesman for the supermarket chain until the early 1990s.

He's not the only Little House on the Prairie actor to suffer from his role. "Nellie Oleson" actress Alison Arngrim (60) played her part so well that viewers went after her throwing lemonade.