Melissa Gilbert - Film & Theater Personalities, Facts and Family

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Melissa Gilbert's Personal Details

Melissa Gilbert is an American actress and TV director

InformationDetail
BirthdayMay 8, 1964
NationalityAmerican
FamousFilm & Theater Personalities, Actresses, Directors
City/StateCalifornia
Known asMelissa Ellen Gilbert
Birth PlaceLos Angeles, California, United States
GenderFemale
Sun SignTaurus
Born inLos Angeles, California, United States
Famous asActress

// Famous Film & Theater Personalities

Melissa Gilbert's photo

Who is Melissa Gilbert?

Melissa Gilbert is an American actress and TV director. She is most known for the television show ‘Little House on the Prairie’ that aired during 1974-83. She is known as ‘The Queen of the television movies and mini-series’ owing to her appearances in more than 45 shows. Gilbert was raised in a family which motivated her to become an actor. After getting selected through an audition attended by over 500 child actors, Gilbert made her way into her acting career at an early age. She started her career with commercials and went on to become a renowned name with her performances in various television shows as a child, adolescent and later as an adult. She portrayed strong roles as a teenager and gained recognition for her work at many prestigious awards. She received a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame at 6429 Hollywood Blvd in 1985. She became the president of the Screen Actors Guild after winning the elections with maximum votes twice consecutively. Gilbert is also a producer, director and writer. Her autobiography ‘A Prairie Tale: A memoir’ gives a vivid description of her life.

// Famous Directors

Childhood & Early Life

Melissa Ellen Gilbert was born to David Darlington and Kathy Wood in Los Angeles, California, USA on 8th May, 1964. Her biological parents were scared of not being able to raise Melissa due to financial constraints and decided to give her up for adoption.

New born Melissa was adopted the next day by actors Paul Gilbert and his wife Barbara Crane.

Barbara Crane was an actress and a dancer. She was daughter of comedy writer Harry Crane.

Paul and Barbara divorced when Melissa was eight years old.

Barbara married Harold Abeles but their marriage also ended in a divorce later.

Harold and Barbara have a biological daughter, Sara Rebecca Abeles, born on 29th January, 1975. Sara later adopted the screen name Sara Gilbert.

Paul Gilbert died on 13th February, 1976, after suffering from a stroke.

Melissa was raised following Jewish religious traditions, though she was never converted officially.

Career

Melissa Gilbert was a gifted actor and entertainer from an early age.

Her parents’ professional background and association with Hollywood helped Gilbert start her acting career early with commercials like ‘Alpo dog food’ with Lorne Greene.

Gilbert bagged the role of Laura Ingalls in NBC's series ‘Little House on the Prairie’ after auditioning with over 500 other children for the role.

The series also starred Michael Landon as Charlie Ingalls. Laura was the middle daughter of Charles Ingalls.

Though she never knew or met Michael Landon, she was in the same school as his daughter, Leslie Landon, who had informed her about getting selected as Laura.

Gilbert’s brother, Jonathan, was also cast in the series as Willie Oleson. The shooting took place in 1973 and the series was aired from 1974 to 1983. The period drama became extremely popular and Gilbert soon caught the audience’s attention.

Gilbert continued working in feature films but majorly worked in television and could be seen in roles as an adolescent in ‘The Miracle Worker’ in 1979, ‘The Diary of Anne Frank’ in 1980, ‘Splendor in the Grass’ in 1981 and ‘Choices of the Heart’ in 1983 where she played the character of Jean Donovan.

Gradually, she shifted to adult roles in ‘Choices’ in 1986 and ‘A Family of Strangers’ in 1993.

In 1990s, she became the voice of Batgirl in ‘Batman: The Animated Series’.

In Babylon 5, Gilbert featured in three episodes as Anna Sheridan with husband, Bruce Boxleitnerin in 1996.

Along with success, Gilbert also faced failure with ‘Little House: A New Beginning’ in 1982, ‘Stand By Your Man’ in 1992 and ‘Sweet Justice’ in 1994.

In the series ‘Nip/Tuck’, in 2006, Gilbert played the role of a patient, Shari Noble, who wanted to reconstruct her nipples.

During 2008-09, Gilbert was seen as Caroline "Ma" Ingalls in the musical adaptation of ‘Little House on the Prairie’, directed by Francesca Zambello. The world premiere production took place at the Guthrie Theater, Minneapolis. The show was on a US National tour which started in 2009 and finally came to an end at Starlight Theatre, Kansas City, Missouri in June 2010.

In 2009, her autobiography ‘A Prairie Tale: A memoir’ was released.

In 2011, Gilbert was seen in a role in ‘The Christmas Pageant’.

Gilbert showed off her dancing skills at the 14th season of ‘Dancing with the Stars’ in 2012. She was seen with partner Maksim Chmerkovskiy. She put up a tough competition against television star Sherri Shepherd, tennis player Martina Navratilova and singer, Gladys Knight.

In the eighth episode, on her birthday, she had to say goodbye to the competition after getting eliminated at the 5th position.

Melissa Gilbert stood in the 2016 elections to the United States House of Representatives from Michigan's 8th congressional district announcing her campaign on 10th August, 2015. But she stepped aside later on account of health issues related to her spine injury.

She is also a producer and director. Her production house is called ‘Half-Pint Productions’.

Major Works

Her most popular character was Laura Ingalls from the series ‘Little House on the Prairie’. Gilbert was seen in 191 episodes out of the total 205 episodes of the show.

Awards & Achievements

For her wonderful performance as Laura Ingalls and contribution to television, Gilbert became the youngest actress to have receiveda star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame at 6429 Hollywood Boulevard, California back in 1985.

Melissa Gilbert became the elected president of the Screen Actors Guild in 2001 after defeating actress Valerie Harper. She was re-elected for a second term in 2003 after competing with Kent McCord.

At the National Cowboy & Western Heritage Museum, Oklahoma City, Oklahoma, Gilbert was inducted into the Western Performers Hall of Fame in 1998.

Personal Life & Legacy

After dating Tom Cruise and Rob Lowe during her teenage days, Melissa Gilbert married the famous actor and producer, Bo Brinkman on 22ndFebruary 1988.

The couple had a son, Dakota Paul Brinkman, but they divorced later in 1992.

Gilbert got remarried on 1st January, 1995, to actor Bruce Boxleitner. She gave birth to a son on 6th October, 1995, and the couple named him Michael, in honour of late Michael Landon, who had played an important role in Gilbert’s life.

Gilbert’s marriage with Boxleitner also came to an end after she filed for a divorce on 22nd August, 2011.

Timothy Busfield became Gilbert’s third husband on April 24, 2013, after a small ceremony at San Ysidro Ranch in Santa Barbara, California. The 55 year old actor of the show ‘Thirtysomething’ was also married twice like Gilbert and had three children.

Trivia

After the death of her father, Michael Landon became a mentor and Gilbert became close to his family. When Gilbert came to know about Landon's affair with Cindy Clerico, the makeup artist at ‘Little House on the Prairie’, she became offended and they did not speak to each other till the end of the series.

On 9th May 1991, Landon appeared on ‘The Tonight Show Starring Johnny Carson’ where he disclosed about his pancreatic cancer. Gilbert called him and visited him at his Malibu residence, while he was bedridden. He passed away after a week.

Gilbert has been ranked No.31 at the VH1's list of the ‘100 Greatest Kid Stars’.

// Famous Actresses

Melissa Gilbert biography timelines

  • // 8th May 1964
    Melissa Ellen Gilbert was born to David Darlington and Kathy Wood in Los Angeles, California, USA on 8th May, 1964. Her biological parents were scared of not being able to raise Melissa due to financial constraints and decided to give her up for adoption.
  • // 29th Jan 1975
    Harold and Barbara have a biological daughter, Sara Rebecca Abeles, born on 29th January, 1975. Sara later adopted the screen name Sara Gilbert.
  • // 13th Feb 1976
    Paul Gilbert died on 13th February, 1976, after suffering from a stroke.
  • // 1985
    For her wonderful performance as Laura Ingalls and contribution to television, Gilbert became the youngest actress to have receiveda star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame at 6429 Hollywood Boulevard, California back in 1985.
  • // 1986 To 1993
    Gradually, she shifted to adult roles in ‘Choices’ in 1986 and ‘A Family of Strangers’ in 1993.
  • // Feb 1988
    After dating Tom Cruise and Rob Lowe during her teenage days, Melissa Gilbert married the famous actor and producer, Bo Brinkman on 22ndFebruary 1988.
  • // 9th May 1991
    On 9th May 1991, Landon appeared on ‘The Tonight Show Starring Johnny Carson’ where he disclosed about his pancreatic cancer. Gilbert called him and visited him at his Malibu residence, while he was bedridden. He passed away after a week.
  • // 1992
    The couple had a son, Dakota Paul Brinkman, but they divorced later in 1992.
  • // 6th Oct 1995
    Gilbert got remarried on 1st January, 1995, to actor Bruce Boxleitner. She gave birth to a son on 6th October, 1995, and the couple named him Michael, in honour of late Michael Landon, who had played an important role in Gilbert’s life.
  • // 1996
    In Babylon 5, Gilbert featured in three episodes as Anna Sheridan with husband, Bruce Boxleitnerin in 1996.
  • // 1998
    At the National Cowboy & Western Heritage Museum, Oklahoma City, Oklahoma, Gilbert was inducted into the Western Performers Hall of Fame in 1998.
  • // 2001 To 2003
    Melissa Gilbert became the elected president of the Screen Actors Guild in 2001 after defeating actress Valerie Harper. She was re-elected for a second term in 2003 after competing with Kent McCord.
  • // 2006
    In the series ‘Nip/Tuck’, in 2006, Gilbert played the role of a patient, Shari Noble, who wanted to reconstruct her nipples.
  • // 2009
    In 2009, her autobiography ‘A Prairie Tale: A memoir’ was released.
  • // 2011
    In 2011, Gilbert was seen in a role in ‘The Christmas Pageant’.
  • // 22nd Aug 2011
    Gilbert’s marriage with Boxleitner also came to an end after she filed for a divorce on 22nd August, 2011.
  • // 2012
    Gilbert showed off her dancing skills at the 14th season of ‘Dancing with the Stars’ in 2012. She was seen with partner Maksim Chmerkovskiy. She put up a tough competition against television star Sherri Shepherd, tennis player Martina Navratilova and singer, Gladys Knight.
  • // 24th Apr 2013
    Timothy Busfield became Gilbert’s third husband on April 24, 2013, after a small ceremony at San Ysidro Ranch in Santa Barbara, California. The 55 year old actor of the show ‘Thirtysomething’ was also married twice like Gilbert and had three children.
  • // 10th Aug 2015 To 2016
    Melissa Gilbert stood in the 2016 elections to the United States House of Representatives from Michigan's 8th congressional district announcing her campaign on 10th August, 2015. But she stepped aside later on account of health issues related to her spine injury.

// Famous American

Melissa Gilbert's FAQ

  • What is Melissa Gilbert birthday?

    Melissa Gilbert was born at 1964-05-08

  • Where is Melissa Gilbert's birth place?

    Melissa Gilbert was born in Los Angeles, California, United States

  • What is Melissa Gilbert nationalities?

    Melissa Gilbert's nationalities is American

  • What is Melissa Gilbert's sun sign?

    Melissa Gilbert is Taurus

  • How famous is Melissa Gilbert?

    Melissa Gilbert is famouse as Actress