Melissa Gilbert
Actress, director
Melissa Gilbert
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.
Biography
Melissa Gilbert's personal information overview.
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News
News abour Melissa Gilbert from around the web
Best new artist: Some celebrities wrote their first checks to candidates in 2016
Huffington Post - about 1 month
Alec Baldwin (right) won a Golden Globe in 2007 for his work on "30 Rock" and posed with Donald Trump, actress Tina Fey and Melania Trump. Nine years later Baldwin played Trump on Saturday Night Live -- but he contributed to no presidential candidates. (AP Photo/Matt Sayles) BY: Andrew Mayersohn The Hollywood liberal has been a stock figure in American politics for decades. Conservative politicians have long denounced or mocked the alleged political influence of musicians, TV stars, and Golden Globe recipients. While the entertainment industry does indeed lean well to the left, though, most of that money comes from producers and media magnates, not the people you see on screen. The only household names in the entertainment industry to make our list of top 100 donors in 2016 were Jeffrey Katzenberg of Dreamworks and the conservative McMahons of the WWE (and, now, the Small Business Administration). In terms of the "talent," though, the same handful of politically aware celeb ...
Article Link:
Huffington Post article
'Little House' star drops bid for U.S. congressional seat
Yahoo News - 9 months
(Reuters) - Melissa Gilbert, best known for playing Laura Ingalls Wilder in the 1970s television drama "Little House on the Prairie," has dropped out of the race for a U.S. congressional seat in Michigan for medical reasons. "As much as it breaks my heart to say this, my doctors have told me I am physically unable to continue my run for Congress." Gilbert, who lives with her husband, actor Timothy Busfield, in Howell, Michigan, about 60 miles (100 km) from Detroit, has no political background but served two terms as president of the Screen Actors Guild from 2001 to 2005.
Article Link:
Yahoo News article
Talk: Melissa Gilbert Never Saw Congress in Her Future
NYTimes - 10 months
The “Little House on the Prairie” actress and aspiring politician talks about switching careers, why politicians should be more candid and the job she had in common with Ronald Reagan.
Article Link:
NYTimes article
Prairie-oke Returns to the Cavern Club: A Q&A With Little House's Alison Arngrim
Huffington Post - over 1 year
Inspired by TV's Little House On The Prairie, writer/director Dane Whitlock's outrageous parody, Prairie-oke, won raves during its 2013 premiere at Silver Lake's Cavern Club (incidentally L.A.'s best underground theatre space). Well hold onto your bonnets because our favorite unauthorized musical is back in a big way (running weekends through November 22). Kudos to producers Vickie Mendoza and Matthew Herrmann (who reprises his role as middle son, Alfred) for assembling the most energetic, musical ensemble I've seen on the L.A. stage in some time. Packed with a Casey Kasem-worthy parade of pop hits from the 1970s to today, Prairie-oke is as brashly absurdist as it is a sweet love letter to the original series. So much so that Little House's original TV cast members have made pilgrimages down the basement stairs of Casita Del Campo to experience the prairie in a whole new way. Drew Droege and Alison Arngrim (Photo by Vickie Mendoza) Worth the price of admission alone is D ...
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Huffington Post article
Useless Facts About Movies of the Week
Huffington Post - almost 2 years
People used to ask me what to do if there were two movies of the week on at the same time, which one they should watch. It was a good question. I didn't know who won WWII but I knew that Tori Spelling starred in, Mother, May I Sleep With Danger? in 1996. I'm the Zagat Guide of Movies of the Week, or as we aficionados used to call them, MoMo's. If you had a choice between a Melissa Gilbert vehicle and a Kelli Martin vehicle, you went with Kelli because, as hard as Melissa tried to make the wife of a famous director, turned hooker, working in the Barrio, to help pay for her son's piano lessons, believable, she'd always be Half-pint, from Little House of the Prairie. A Meredith Baxter Birney star turn (now just Baxter) or a Joanna Kearns one, was always trickier. Meredith was a workhouse. She'd been on television long before Family Ties, and that meant something. She started her illustrious career in an episode of the Patridge Family, entitled, Where Do Mermaids Go?, playing t ...
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Huffington Post article
Investigating Hollywood's 'Celluloid Ceiling'
Huffington Post - about 2 years
In the unlikely event that Hollywood were to bestow an award for "Best Researcher on Sexism in the Industry," Martha Lauzen would take top prize. For 17 years, the San Diego State University professor has published an annual study called "The Celluloid Ceiling," which tracks the behind-the-scenes employment of women on the top 250 films released each year. The results aren't pretty. Dr. Lauzen's 2014 research indicates that only 17 percent of powerful roles (think director, writer, producer) are held by females -- a figure that hasn't changed since her research began in 1998. As part of our ongoing Women in Hollywood project, we asked Dr. Lauzen about the lack of opportunities for women, how to fix the problem and whether she ever gets depressed by her own data (spoiler alert: No.) The Story Exchange: You're a recognized expert on the topic of women in film and television. What drew you to the field? I was curious about the disconnect between stories in the popular press re ...
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Huffington Post article
‘Little House On The Prairie’ Stars React To Richard Bull’s Death
Hollywood Life - about 3 years
Former ‘Little House on the Prairie’ stars Melissa Gilbert and Alison Arngrim took to Twitter on Feb. 4 to mourn the loss of their late friend and co-star Richard Bull. After Richard Bull died on Feb. 3, his Little House on the Prairie co-stars sent out heartfelt tweets about his sad passing. The much-loved character actor, who played kind-hearted general store owner Nels Oleson on the classic 1970s TV series, died of natural causes at a Los Angeles hospital, according to reports. He was 89 years old. Richard Bull Dies — ‘Little House On The Prairie’ Stars React To Actor’s Death Melissa Gilbert , who played Laura Ingalls on the show, tweeted about Richard’s death on Feb. 4: This man will be missed. Goodbye Richard working with you was such a joy but nearly as joyful as being your friend. pic.twitter.com/Oc4sBMrfbn — Melissa Gilbert (@MelissaEGilbert) February 4, 2014 Melissa wasn’t the only Little House on the Prairie star to use social media to say a final farewell to ...
Article Link:
Hollywood Life article
Why Melissa Gilbert Wants to Punch Shannen Doherty in the Face
ABC News - about 3 years
Do you know who Tom Mapother is? Well, most people don't either. But that's Tom Cruise's name when he first moved to Hollywood. And that's who Melissa Gilbert dated back when she was a teenager. The former "Little House on the Prairie" star spoke to Andy Cohen on Wednesday about their relationship.     
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ABC News article
What Would Laura Ingalls Wilder Do?
Huffington Post - about 3 years
I've been spending many a morning outside on my far-from-neatly-manicured lawn in search of going out into the wilderness and living life to the fullest. Truthfully, I don't see the appeal of the great outdoors. There's no Internet connection, no The Mindy Project, and one can only survive on ooey gooey s'mores for so long (okay, that part is something I can get behind). What's a modern day girl like me going to do out in the 10×10 foot yard that is salt and peppered with New Mexican goatheads? I may as well confess now that I'm a bit of a procrastinator. You see, while everyone else has started their New Year with resolutions (many of which are already dumped on the roadside by now), I'm just getting around to figuring out what this year is going to mean for me. I've gone back and forth with a number of things -- drink more water, exercise, write daily, brush teeth while dancing to Kenny Loggins' "Footloose" and really get my floss on -- but up until this morning I still hadn't made ...
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Huffington Post article
Melissa Gilbert on moving to a small town: It’s like ‘Green Acres’ without the farm
Fox News - about 3 years
Gilbert, who recently wed Timothy Busfield, of “Thirtysomething,” spoke to FOX411 about her book, marriage and recent move to a small town.
Article Link:
Fox News article
Xaque Gruber: Prairie-oke!: Big Hits and Big Laughs at Silver Lake's Cavern Club
Huffington Post - over 3 years
What do the following pop culture touchstones have in common: The B-52s, Melissa Manchester, Guns n Roses, The Exorcist, Glee, and the classic TV series set in the 1880s starring Michael Landon and Melissa Gilbert that ran on NBC from 1974 to 1983? The answer is of course, Prairie-oke!, the latest, hilariously warped theatre mashup musical from L.A. based writer/director, Dane Whitlock, who brought us last year's hit, Are You There God? It's Me, Karen Carpenter. Highlighted by effervescent choreography by Joseph Corella, the lively Prairie-oke! is as endearing as it is demented. Long one of L.A.'s best cross-generational theatres, The Cavern Club is having a banner year with a playful, cheery, inventive lineup of pop culture confections highlighted by Chico's Angels (returning in October), Connie Loves Juice, The Madonna-logues, and now, Prairie-oke!, the year's most mirthful musical parody thanks in large part to its wildly talented ensemble including Drew Droege, Lib ...
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Huffington Post article
Red Carpet Trend Report: The Scoop on Peplums, Hot-Weather Leather and Waist-Length Hair
People Magazine - over 3 years
Startraks; Invision/AP; AKM-GSI In our weekly round-up of what we’re seeing sizzle (and fizzle) on the red carpet, we noticed that peplums are rising in popularity once again, stars are having a serious love affair with leather — and there’s one hairstyle that appears to be losing its edge lately. Consider this your fashion forecast. Up: Peplums. The peplum is back in all shapes, shades and sizes. On the simple end of the spectrum, Julianne Hough’s Naven mini and Amy Adams black CH Carolina Herrera pencil skirt featured basic embellishments at the waist. Krysten Ritter introduced us to a 360-degree yellow waistband on her printed Thakoon dress. And the award for the most tricked out version of the trend goes to Maggie Gyllenhaal and the crochet attachment on her Christian Dior knit number. Conclusion: You might want to dust off that peplum skirt in your closet, or maybe pick up one like this from Forever 21. (We advise not to splurge, because this trend is bound to fluctuate). ...
Article Link:
People Magazine article
See Melissa Gilbert's Hot New Look
ABC News - over 3 years
A new look for a newly-married lady! Melissa Gilbert chopped off her long locks and debuted a new, chic summer haircut recently via her Instagram page. “Yay!” she wrote next to a photo of herself grinning. And, on another, “Totally loving my new haircut!!” Gilbert,...     
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ABC News article
Melissa Gilbert & Timothy Busfield Wed (See Her Red Wedding Dress!)
Yahoo News - almost 4 years
Longtime TV stars Melissa Gilbert and Timothy Busfield have made it official!
Article Link:
Yahoo News article
Timeline
Learn about memorable moments in the evolution of Melissa Gilbert
    FIFTIES
  • 2016
    Age 51
    Gilbert, who was the presumptive Democratic nominee in the district, dropped out of the race in May 2016, citing health issues.
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    In 2016, Gilbert ran for U.S. Congress as a Democrat in Michigan's 8th congressional district and she won the Democratic primary.
    More Details Hide Details She later dropped out due to health issues.
  • 2015
    Age 50
    On August 10, 2015, Gilbert announced her campaign for Michigan's 8th congressional district in the 2016 elections to the United States House of Representatives.
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    In January 2015, Gilbert decided to have her breast implants surgically removed for health reasons.
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  • FORTIES
  • 2013
    Age 48
    On January 29, 2013, Gilbert's representative confirmed the actress' engagement to fellow actor Timothy Busfield. The couple married on April 24, 2013.
    More Details Hide Details Since July 2013, Gilbert and Busfield have resided in Howell, Michigan. Following her announcement as a candidate for U.S. Representative from Michigan, a spokesperson for her opponent's campaign referred to Gilbert as "tax cheat". Gilbert currently owes $360,000 in back federal taxes and $112,000 in California state taxes. Gilbert has stated the tax debt is an outgrowth of a stalled acting career, the economy, and divorce. She has negotiated a repayment plan with the IRS. Gilbert has battled alcoholism and drug abuse, which she wrote about in her 2009 autobiography. While playing the role of Laura Ingalls in the touring musical Little House on the Prairie, a visit to the doctor revealed that Gilbert had been working with a broken back for months. On July 22, 2010, Gilbert underwent surgery to replace a disc as well as fuse a vertebra in her lower spine. The surgery was described as a complete success.
  • 2011
    Age 46
    On August 22, 2011, Gilbert filed for divorce from Boxleitner.
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    On March 1, 2011, Gilbert announced that she and Boxleitner had separated.
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  • 2005
    Age 40
    In July 2005, she announced that she would not seek a third term.
    More Details Hide Details She was succeeded by Alan Rosenberg, who assumed the guild presidency on September 25.
  • THIRTIES
  • 2003
    Age 38
    In 2003, she was re-elected, defeating Kent McCord with 50% of the vote to his 42%.
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  • 2001
    Age 36
    Gilbert was elected president of the Screen Actors Guild in 2001 after a contentious candidacy, in which she ultimately beat her opponent, Rhoda actress Valerie Harper, 21,351 votes to 12,613 votes after a second vote was taken.
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    Gilbert served as the President of the Screen Actors Guild from 2001 to 2005.
    More Details Hide Details In 2009, her autobiography Prairie Tale: A Memoir, was released. In 2014, she wrote a short story for children, called Daisy and Josephine as well as My Prairie Cookbook: Memories and Frontier Food from My Little House to Yours.
  • 1998
    Age 33
    In 1998, she was inducted into the Western Performers Hall of Fame at the National Cowboy & Western Heritage Museum in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma.
    More Details Hide Details In 2006, Gilbert appeared as Shari Noble, a patient looking to reconstruct her nipples after committing zoophilia with her dog in a season four episode of Nip/Tuck. In 2008 and through 2009, Gilbert played Caroline "Ma" Ingalls in the musical adaptation of Little House on the Prairie. This world premiere production at the Guthrie Theater in Minneapolis was directed by Francesca Zambello and also starred Kara Lindsay as Laura. The show ran through October 19 and was on a US National tour for 2009–10. The tour ended in June 2010 at Starlight Theatre in Kansas City, Missouri. In March 2012, Gilbert joined the cast of celebrity contestants on season 14 of Dancing with the Stars. She was paired with Maksim Chmerkovskiy. During week four's show, while dancing the Paso Doble, she fell and hit her head on Maksim's leg and suffered a mild concussion and was taken to a hospital. She went home to recuperate, but returned to continue in the competition. In week eight of competition, she was eliminated, finishing in fifth place.
  • 1996
    Age 31
    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.
    More Details Hide Details She also provided the voice of Batgirl on the 1990s Batman: The Animated Series, though she would be replaced by voice actress Tara Strong for the series' follow-up The New Batman Adventures. For her contribution to the television industry, Gilbert received a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame at 6429 Hollywood Blvd in 1985. Her then-fiance, Rob Lowe, was present with her when her star was unveiled during the ceremony.
  • 1995
    Age 30
    When Gilbert gave birth to her son with second husband Bruce Boxleitner on October 6, 1995, they named him Michael, in honor of Landon.
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    She gave birth to a son, Michael Garrett Boxleitner, named in honor of Michael Landon, on October 6, 1995.
    More Details Hide Details His middle name is in honor of Garrett Peckinpah, her friend Sandy Peckinpah's son, who had died suddenly of meningitis at age 16. Gilbert is also stepmother to Boxleitner's two sons with Holcomb, Sam (born 1980) and Lee (born 1985).
    After reuniting for a third time, they finally married on January 1, 1995, in her mother's living room.
    More Details Hide Details Gilbert quickly became pregnant, but went into premature labor more than two months before her due date.
  • TWENTIES
  • 1991
    Age 26
    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.
    More Details Hide Details She visited Landon at his Malibu home where he was, by then, bedridden, and they spent the afternoon together. Landon died one week later.
  • 1989
    Age 24
    On May 1, 1989, she gave birth to son Dakota Paul Brinkman. They divorced in 1992.
    More Details Hide Details Only weeks after Gilbert's divorce filing, Bruce Boxleitner's ex-wife, Kathryn Holcomb, set Boxleitner up with Gilbert. Holcomb by then was married to actor Ian Ogilvy. Gilbert had met Boxleitner as a teenager when they both were on Battle of the Network Stars when Gilbert introduced herself, and she had a pin-up of him in her locker. But Boxleitner ignored her because she was a teen and he was many years older than she was. After reconnecting, the couple started dating on and off for over a year. They were engaged twice and Boxleitner broke up with her each time.
  • 1988
    Age 23
    The couple married on February 22, 1988, only seven weeks after her relationship with Rob Lowe ended.
    More Details Hide Details Gilbert became pregnant months later.
  • TEENAGE
  • 1983
    Age 18
    Gilbert had limited contact with Landon after Little House ended during the 1983–84 season.
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  • 1976
    Age 11
    On February 13, 1976, Paul Gilbert died.
    More Details Hide Details Although 11-year-old Melissa was told that he had suffered a sudden stroke, she found out years later that the 57-year-old Paul had been a VA patient who dealt with constant pain and that he had taken his own life. The marriage of Barbara and Harold Abeles later ended in divorce. Per her biography, Gilbert was "lightly raised" in her adoptive mother's Jewish religion (her adoptive father was a gentile), but did not have any formal religious education or conversion ceremony. Gilbert's earliest television appearances were in dozens of commercials, including one for Alpo dog food with Lorne Greene (Michael Landon's television father on Bonanza). She also attended school with Landon's daughter, Leslie Landon. It was Leslie who informed her that she had won the role of Laura Ingalls on Little House on the Prairie, beating out over 500 child actresses for the part. The pilot was shot in 1973 and was a ratings success. Almost a year later, Gilbert began filming the series. Gilbert became extremely close to the Landon family after her adoptive father died. But a rift developed between Michael Landon and Gilbert after the revelation of Landon's affair with Little House young makeup artist, Cindy Clerico.
  • CHILDHOOD
  • 1975
    Age 10
    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.
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  • 1964
    Born
    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.
    More Details Hide Details She was adopted one day later by actor and comedian Paul Gilbert (born Ed MacMahon, he changed his name to Paul Gilbert to get a Screen Actors Guild card) and his wife, dancer and actress Barbara Crane, the daughter of The Honeymooners creator Harry Crane. The couple later adopted a son, Jonathan, who co-starred on Little House on the Prairie. Gilbert's adoptive parents divorced when she was 8 years old.
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