|Melissa Gilbert Quick Info|
|Height||5 ft 3 in|
|Date of Birth||May 8, 1964|
Melissa Gilbert is a woman of many laurels. As an actress, she became a household name after her appearance on Little House on the Prairie as Laura Ingalls Wilder. She is also inducted in the Hall of Fame and has also served as the president of the Screen Actors Guild. Melissa has also authored a few books including Prairie Tale: A Memoir in 2009.
Melissa Ellen Gilbert
Los Angeles, California, United States
Howell, Michigan, United States
Actress, Television Director, Voice Actress, Former Politician, Entrepreneur, Author, Activist
- Father – David Darlington
- Mother – Kathy Wood
- Others – Barbara Crane (Foster Mother) (Actress, Dancer), Paul Gilbert (Foster Father) (Actor, Comedian), Harold Abeles (Step-Father), Charlie Brill (Godfather), Mitzi McCall (Godmother), Jonathan Gilbert (Adopted Younger Brother) (Television Actor), Sara Gilbert (Younger Half-Sister) (Actress), Claudia Cowan (Older Step-Sister) (Reporter), Levi Gilbert (Nephew), Sawyer Gilbert (Niece), Warren Cowan (Stepfather), Susan Gilbert-Randal (Older Half-Sister), Gigi Gilbert (Older Half-Sister)
Melissa Gilbert mostly self-manages her work. However, some part of it is managed by Innovative Artists, Talent Agency, Santa Monica, California, U.S.
5 ft 3 in or 160 cm
55 kg or 121 lbs
Boyfriend / Spouse
Melissa Gilbert has dated –
- Rob Lowe (1981-1987) – Melissa was just 17 when she started dating actor Rob Lowe. The two were often seen together at many red carpet events and Rob proposed to her in 1986. However, their relationship wasn’t a happy one and they both cheated on one another during the course of their affair and after a year of engagement, they called it off and broke up. Some reports also suggested that they broke up after Melissa had a miscarriage.
- Timothy Hutton (1982)
- John Cusack (1983) – Melissa had a fleeting affair with actor John Cusack in 1983. She slept with John, Rob Lowe’s best friend, to get back at him after she learned that he was cheating on her with Nastassja Kinski in 1983.
- Scott Baio (1984) – Melissa had a fling with actor Scott Baio in 1984.
- Billy Idol (1986) – Melissa reportedly had a fling with singer Billy Idol in 1986.
- Bo Brinkman (1988-1992) – Melissa was in a relationship with actor Bo Brinkman. Their meeting was a planned one and the couple did not wait for much time after it and got married on February 22, 1988. Soon, they were blessed with a son, Dakota Paul Brinkman (born May 1, 1989). Sadly, the couple divorced in 1992.
- Dylan McDermott (1992) – Melissa had a short-term relationship with actor Dylan McDermott in 1992.
- Bruce Boxleitner (1995–2011) – Melissa then started dating actor and writer, Bruce Boxleitner. Their meeting was set up by Bruce’s former wife, Kathryn Holcomb, who, by then, was married to actor Ian Ogilvy. Melissa and Bruce had crossed paths earlier during the production of Battle of the Network Stars in the late 1970s. However, back then, Bruce ignored Melissa’s approach because of the vast age difference. But, after many years, the pair reconnected and was in an on-and-off relationship. They got engaged twice but Bruce called it off on both the occasions. Finally, on January 1, 1995, the couple got married in Melissa’s mother’s living room. After she lost her first child with Bruce due to premature labor, she gave birth to a son, Michael Garrett Boxleitner on October 6, 1995. Bruce already had children from his first marriage to Kathryn, making Melissa a stepmother to Sam Boxleitner (born 1980) and Lee Boxleitner (born 1985). However, Melissa and Bruce separated on March 1, 2011, and she filed for divorce on August 22, 2011.
- Timothy Busfield (2013-Present) – Melissa became engaged to actor Timothy Busfield on January 29, 2013. The engagement was confirmed by Melissa’s representative. On April 24, 2013, the couple got married at San Ysidro Ranch in Santa Barbara amidst close family members and friends. She is a stepmother to Daisy Busfield, Samuel Busfield, and Wilson Busfield.
Race / Ethnicity
Light Golden Hazel
- Round chin
- Warm friendly smile
- Often wears rimmed glasses
Melissa Gilbert has either promoted or endorsed brands like –
- The Queen’s Treasures
- Crepe Erase
- CB I Hate Perfume
- Vanicream Skin Care
- Le Labo Fragrances
- Eminence Organic Skin Care
She has also been featured in many commercials for brands like –
- Butterball Turkeys (1974)
- Belle Color hair color (1997-98)
- Wen Healthy Hair Care System (2008)
- Noxzema (1981)
- Crest toothpaste
- Garnier’s Belle Color hair color (1999)
- Alpo Dog Food (1978)
She has also co-hosted infomercials for brands like –
- SheerCover cosmetics (2006)
- Chaz’s Wen healthy hair care system (2007)
As a child, she was partly raised following her foster mother’s faith i.e. Judaism.
As an adult, Melissa has embraced some traits of Christianity too as she has been seen celebrating Christmas with full vigor.
Best Known For
- Her role as Laura Ingalls Wilder on the show, Little House on the Prairie (1974-1983). As Laura, she appeared in 191 episodes out of the total of 205 episodes, making her the longest appearing cast on the series.
- Lending her voice to the character of Batgirl in the Batman: The Animated Series of the 1990s
In 1967, Melissa made her theatrical film debut in the sci-fi comedy family film The Reluctant Astronaut. However, her appearance went uncredited.
Her credited theatrical film debut was made as Charlie in the family drama movie Sylvester in 1985.
As a voice actress, she made her theatrical film debut in the Japanese animated movie Nutcracker Fantasy in 1979.
First TV Show
In 1968, she made her first TV show appearance on the musical comedy series The Dean Martin Show as the girl sitting on Santa’s lap. But, her part wasn’t credited.
Melissa made her credited TV show debut on the series Gunsmoke in 1972.
As a voice actress, she made her TV show debut in 1992 on the series Batman: The Animated Series.
Melissa Gilbert used to work out 5 days a week. Her workout routine included a daily half an hour of cardio and weight training 4 times a week.
Melissa Gilbert’s Favorite Things
- Drink – Tea
- Food – Fried Chicken
- Animal – Tiger
- All-Time Favorite Animal – Otters
- Vacation – Tahiti
- Film – Sunset Boulevard (1950), Limelight (1952)
- Book – Fall on Your Knees by Anne-Marie MacDonald
- TV Show – Trauma: Life in the ER (1997-2002)
- Fruit – Mango
- Cuisine – Asian
- Christmas Dessert – Mincemeat Pie
Source – Melissa-Gilbert.com, Us Magazine
Melissa Gilbert’s Facts
- As a child, she had idolized Shirley Temple.
- She has won several awards for her role in Little House on the Prairie (1974-1983) including Young Artist Award for Best Young Actress in a Drama Series (1983 & 1984), Golden Boot Award for Golden Boot (2000), and TV Land Award for Most Memorable Kiss (2006).
- In 1981, she was accompanied by Michael Landon Jr. to her senior prom.
- Growing up, she had made a scrapbook of Michael Landon’s life with pictures.
- Her earliest acting mentors happened to be the late Michael Landon and late Patty Duke.
- In 1984, Melissa made an appearance in the Ray Parker Jr. video Ghost Busters.
- On July 22, 2010, she underwent surgery to fix a disc and a vertebra in her lower spine.
- From 2001-2005, she held the position of president of the Screen Actors Guild.
- Melissa was chosen for the role of Laura Ingalls Wilder for the TV series Little House on the Prairie (1974-1983) out of 500 young girls.
- In 1998, as one of the casts of Little House on the Prairie (1974), she was inducted into the Hall of Great Western Performers of the National Cowboy and Western Heritage Museum.
- In one of VH1’s countdowns, Melissa was ranked #31 on the 100 Greatest Kid Stars list.
- On March 13, 1985, she was awarded a star at 6429 Hollywood Blvd of the Hollywood Walk of Fame which is not very far from her foster father Paul Gilbert.
- In March 2012, Melissa participated in the 14th season of Dancing with the Stars along with professional dancer Maksim Chmerkovskiy.
- On August 14, 2015, Melissa announced her desire to run for the Congress seat from Michigan.
- In 2015, she removed her breast implants due to health issues.
- She has written many books including Prairie Tale: A Memoir (2009), My Prairie Cookbook: Memories and Frontier Food from My Little House to Yours (2014), Daisy and Josephine (2014), and Adult Coloring Book: Stress Relieving Patterns, Flowers and Mandalas (2016).
- As per her 2009 autobiography, Melissa had struggled with alcohol and drug abuse.
- She has a production company named Half-Pint Productions.
- She likes rainy days and dislikes small talk.
- During the COVID-19 pandemic, she along with her husband worked together on raised planters, garden enclosure, chicken coop, and electric fence as fewer non-essential external services were available at that time.
- At that time, she also self-assembled toys, tricycles, stereo systems, Ikea cabinets, etc.
- Melissa means honeybee in Greek.
- She is allergic to bees, however, she likes honey and anything honey-flavored.
- Melissa starts her day with tea which is made by her husband. The tea is a bowl-size cup of PG Tips tea sweetened with honey (half-and-half).
- Once a chipmunk had bit her index finger.
- Melissa is a trained 11th Hour pediatric-hospice volunteer.
- She has broken many of her bones. As a fix, she has already undergone 12 non-cosmetic surgeries.
- She gets the best sleep in a chilled room.
- She has co-produced the Guest Artist (2019) movie alongside her husband and Jeff Daniels.
- Her first crush was on actor Adam West.
- At the age of 45, she did her first musical, which was Little House on the Prairie, the Musical.
- She has married thrice and all of her husband’s last names start with the letter ‘B’ – Busfield and exes Bo Brinkman and Bruce Boxleitner.
- Melissa can bat both left and right-handed.
- She dislikes the taste of saffron.
- Melissa can play the songs AC/DC’s Back in Black and The Beatles’ Golden Slumbers on the drums.
- On her 40th birthday, she took surfing lessons.
- Melissa’s first car was a 1980 model Chrysler LeBaron station wagon in beige color.
- At 2, she started taking ballet classes.
- According to Melissa herself, she can drive anything from a six-up stagecoach to an 18-wheeler truck.
- She can also juggle.
- Visit her official website @ melissa-gilbert.com.
Featured Image by Renne Jacobs / Instagram