Melissa Gilbert

Actress + Director
Born May 8, 1964

Melissa Ellen Gilbert is an American actress and television director. Gilbert began her career as a child actress in the late 1960s appearing in numerous commercials and guest starring roles on television. From 1974 to 1984, she starred as Laura Ingalls Wilder on the NBC series Little House on the Prairie. During the run of Little House, Gilbert appeared in several popular television films including The Diary of Anne Frank and The Miracle Worker.… Read More

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News + Updates

Browse recent news and stories about Melissa Gilbert.


Learn about the memorable moments in the evolution of Melissa Gilbert.


1964 Birth Gilbert was born in Los Angeles, California on May 8, 1964 to a newly engaged couple, David Darlington and Kathy Wood, and was placed for adoption immediately after birth. … Read More


1975 11 Years Old Her mother, Barbara, then married Harold Abeles, and together they had biological daughter Sara Rebecca Abeles (the actress known professionally as Sara Gilbert), born on January 29, 1975.
1976 12 Years Old On February 13, 1976, Paul Gilbert died. … Read More
1983 19 Years Old Gilbert had limited contact with Landon after Little House ended during the 1983–84 season.


1988 24 Years Old …  The couple married on February 22, 1988, only seven weeks after her relationship with Rob Lowe ended. … Read More
1989 25 Years Old On May 1, 1989, she gave birth to son Dakota Paul Brinkman. They divorced in 1992. … Read More
1991 27 Years Old Seven years later, she was contacted by Landon's family and upon news of his condition, paid him a heartfelt visit following his May 9, 1991, appearance on The Tonight Show Starring Johnny Carson where he discussed his pancreatic cancer. … Read More


After reuniting for a third time, they finally married on January 1, 1995, in her mother's living room. … Read More
1996 32 Years Old Gilbert has continued to work regularly, mainly in television. She starred as Jean Donovan in the biopic Choices of the Heart (1983), and as Anna Sheridan in three episodes of Babylon 5 with then husband Bruce Boxleitner in 1996. … Read More
1998 34 Years Old In 1998, she was inducted into the Western Performers Hall of Fame at the National Cowboy & Western Heritage Museum in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma. … Read More
2001 37 Years Old 1 More Event
Gilbert served as the President of the Screen Actors Guild from 2001 to 2005. … Read More
2003 39 Years Old In 2003, she was re-elected, defeating Kent McCord with 50% of the vote to his 42%.


2005 41 Years Old In July 2005, she announced that she would not seek a third term. … Read More
2011 47 Years Old 1 More Event
On March 1, 2011, Gilbert announced that she and Boxleitner had separated.
2013 49 Years Old On January 29, 2013, Gilbert's representative confirmed the actress' engagement to fellow actor Timothy Busfield. The couple married on April 24, 2013. … Read More


2015 51 Years Old 1 More Event
In January 2015, Gilbert decided to have her breast implants surgically removed for health reasons.
2016 52 Years Old 1 More Event
In 2016, Gilbert ran for U.S. Congress as a Democrat in Michigan's 8th congressional district and she won the Democratic primary. … Read More
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