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Melissa Gilbert biography
Melissa Gilbert is an American actress and television director, best known for her iconic role as Laura Ingalls Wilder on the television series “Little House on the Prairie.” Let’s delve into a brief biography:
- Early Life: Melissa Ellen Gilbert was born on May 8, 1964, in Los Angeles, California, USA. She was adopted by actor Paul Gilbert and his wife, actress Barbara Crane.
- Showbiz Heritage: Melissa comes from a family with a strong showbiz background. Her adoptive father, Paul Gilbert, was a comedian, and her adoptive grandfather, Harry Crane, was a writer for classic sitcoms.
- Childhood Acting Career: Melissa Gilbert started her acting career at a very young age, appearing in commercials and television programs.
- “Little House on the Prairie” (1974–1983): Her breakthrough and most famous role was as Laura Ingalls Wilder in the TV series “Little House on the Prairie,” which ran for nine seasons. The show became a beloved classic, and Gilbert’s portrayal of Laura endeared her to audiences.
- Youngest Ever SAG President: In 2001, Melissa Gilbert was elected president of the Screen Actors Guild (SAG), becoming the youngest person and the first woman to hold the position.
- Personal Memoir: In 2009, Gilbert published her memoir, “Prairie Tale: A Memoir,” where she candidly discussed her life, career, and personal challenges.
- Directorial Debut: Gilbert made her directorial debut with the television movie “Me and Mom” (2018).
- Broadway Career: Melissa Gilbert has also pursued a career on Broadway, with roles in productions such as “Little House on the Prairie, the Musical” (2009).
- “Dancing with the Stars”: In 2012, she participated in the 14th season of “Dancing with the Stars,” showcasing her dancing skills and earning positive reviews.
- Marriages and Family: Melissa Gilbert has been married three times, including to actors Bo Brinkman and Bruce Boxleitner. She has two children, Dakota and Michael.
- Entrepreneurial Ventures: Beyond acting, Gilbert has been involved in entrepreneurial ventures, including a line of children’s clothing and a production company.
- Advocacy Work: Melissa Gilbert is an advocate for various causes, including issues related to adoption, labor rights, and health awareness.
- Health Challenges: Gilbert has been open about her health challenges, including a diagnosis of multiple sclerosis in 2012. She has been an advocate for MS awareness and research.
Melissa Gilbert’s career has spanned decades, and her role as Laura Ingalls Wilder continues to be cherished by fans. From acting to directing, and from her political involvement to advocacy, she has made a multifaceted impact on the entertainment industry.
Trivia of Melissa Gilbert
Certainly! Let’s explore some trivia about Melissa Gilbert:
- Adoption Story: Melissa Gilbert was adopted by actor Paul Gilbert and his wife, Barbara Crane. Her adoptive father was best known for his role as Harry Morton on “The Jack Benny Program.”
- Sibling in Showbiz: Sara Gilbert, known for her role as Darlene Conner on “Roseanne” and later as a co-host on “The Talk,” is Melissa Gilbert’s younger half-sister.
- Young Star: Melissa Gilbert started her acting career at a very young age. By the time she was eight years old, she had already appeared in over 30 television commercials.
- “Little House on the Prairie” Casting: Melissa initially auditioned for the role of Laura Ingalls’ sister, Mary, but ultimately won the role of Laura, which became her signature character.
- On-Screen Romance: In a case of life imitating art, Melissa Gilbert and Michael Landon’s on-screen father-daughter relationship in “Little House on the Prairie” extended off-screen, with Landon becoming a father figure to her.
- Screen Actors Guild (SAG) President: In 2001, Melissa Gilbert was elected as the president of the Screen Actors Guild, becoming the youngest person ever and the first woman to hold this position.
- Romantic Connections: Melissa Gilbert was romantically linked to several high-profile figures, including Rob Lowe, with whom she had a relationship during the 1980s.
- Broadway Performance: In 2009, Melissa Gilbert starred in the musical adaptation of “Little House on the Prairie” on Broadway, taking on the role of Caroline Ingalls.
- Memoir – “Prairie Tale”: Her memoir, “Prairie Tale: A Memoir,” provides insights into her life, including her experiences in Hollywood, relationships, and challenges she faced.
- Directorial Debut: Melissa Gilbert made her directorial debut with the television movie “Me and Mom” (2018), showcasing her talents behind the camera.
- Dancing with the Stars: In 2012, she participated in the 14th season of “Dancing with the Stars,” partnered with professional dancer Maksim Chmerkovskiy.
- Entrepreneurial Ventures: Melissa Gilbert has explored various entrepreneurial ventures, including a line of children’s clothing and her production company.
- Health Advocacy: Since her diagnosis with multiple sclerosis in 2012, Gilbert has been an advocate for raising awareness about the disease and supporting research for its treatment.
Melissa Gilbert’s journey in the entertainment industry, her varied roles, and her contributions beyond acting make her a fascinating figure in Hollywood.