Melissa Gilbert facts for kids

Kids Encyclopedia Facts
Melissa Gilbert
Sonia Bekian after Drug Free America shoot - cropped (5242325680).jpg
Gilbert in December 2010
President of the Screen Actors Guild
In office
Preceded by William Daniels
Succeeded by Alan Rosenberg
Personal details
Baby Girl Darlington

May 8, 1964 (1964-05-08) (age 55)
Los Angeles, California, U.S.
Nationality American
Political party Democratic Party
Bo Brinkman (m. 1988–1992)

Bruce Boxleitner (m. 1995–2011)

Timothy Busfield (m. 2013)
Children 2
Parents Paul Gilbert
Barbara Crane
Relatives Jonathan Gilbert (brother)
Sara Gilbert (sister)
Residence Howell, Michigan, U.S.
Occupation Actress, director, producer

Melissa Gilbert (born May 8, 1964) is an American actress and writer. She is famous for acting as Laura Ingalls Wilder in Little House on the Prairie (1974-1984). She has also acted in many other television programs and movies. Gilbert had two terms as president of the Screen Actors Guild. On June 9, 2009 her autobiography, Prairie Tale: A Memoir, was released.

Personal life

Gilbert was born in Los Angeles. She was married to Bo Brinkman from 1988 until they divorced in 1992. Then, she married Bruce Boxleitner from 1995 until they divorced in 2011. She married her current husband Timothy Busfield in 2013. They have two children. She now lives in Howell, Michigan.


For her contribution to the television industry, Gilbert has a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame at 6429 Hollywood Blvd in 1985. Her then-fiance, Rob Lowe, was with her when her star was unveiled. She is one of the youngest actresses to have been honored with a star.

2016 Congressional election

On August 10, 2015, Gilbert announced her intentions to run for Michigan's 8th congressional district. She will be opposing Republican incumbent Mike Bishop.


Little House on the Prairie Melissa Gilbert 1975 Crop 1
Gilbert as Laura Ingalls, circa 1975
Melissa Gilbert at the 1991 Emmy Awards cropped
Gilbert at the 1991 Emmy Awards


Year Film Role Notes
1977 Circus, Lions, Tigers and Melissas Too Self
Christmas Miracle in Caufield, U.S.A. Kelly Sullivan TV movie
1979 Nutcracker Fantasy Clara Voice
The Miracle Worker Helen Keller TV movie; Nominated for an Emmy Award
1980 The Diary of Anne Frank Anne Frank TV movie
1981 Splendor in the Grass Wilma Dean 'Deanie' Loomis TV movie
1983 Choices of the Heart Jean Donovan TV movie
Little House: Look Back to Yesterday Laura Ingalls Wilder TV movie
Little House: Bless All the Dear Children Laura Ingalls Wilder TV movie
1984 Little House: The Last Farewell Laura Ingalls Wilder TV movie
Family Secrets Sara Calloway TV movie
1985 Sylvester Charlie
1986 Drug Free Kids: A Parents' Guide Self Video
Choices Terry Granger TV movie
The Penalty Phase Leah Furman TV movie
1987 Blood Vows: The Story of a Mafia Wife Marian TV movie
1988 Killer Instinct Dr. Lisa DaVito TV movie
1989 Ice House Kay
1990 Without Her Consent Emily Briggs TV movie
Forbidden Nights Judith Shapiro TV movie
Joshua's Heart Claudia TV movie
Donor Dr. Kristine Lipton TV movie
The Lookalike Gina/Jennifer TV movie
1992 With a Vengeance Janet King/Vanessa TV movie
1993 Family of Strangers Julie TV movie
With Hostile Intent Miranda Berkley TV movie
Shattered Trust: The Shari Karney Story Shari Karney TV movie
House of Secrets Marion Ravinel TV movie
Dying to Remember Lynn Matthews TV movie
1994 The Babymaker: The Dr. Cecil Jacobson Story Mary Bennett TV movie
Against Her Will: The Carrie Buck Story Melissa Prentice TV movie
Cries from the Heart Karen TV movie
1995 Zoya Zoya Ossipov TV movie
1996 Christmas in My Hometown
(a.k.a. A Holiday for Love)
Emma Murphy TV movie
1997 Seduction in a Small Town Sarah Jenks TV movie
Childhood Sweetheart? Karen Carlson TV movie
1998 Her Own Rules Meredith Sanders TV movie
1999 Murder at 75 Birch Gwen Todson TV movie
The Soul Collector Rebecca TV movie
Switched at Birth Sarah Barlow TV movie
2000 A Vision of Murder: The Story of Donielle Donielle TV movie
2001 Sanctuary Jo Ellen Hathaway TV movie
2003 Hollywood Wives: The New Generation Taylor Singer TV movie
2004 Heart of the Storm Cassie Broadbeck TV movie
2005 Thicker Than Water Natalie Jones TV movie
2007 Sacrifices of the Heart originally titled Spring Thaw Kate Weston/Anne Weston TV movie
Safe Harbour Ophelia Direct-to-video
2011 The Christmas Pageant Vera Parks TV movie


Series starring roles
Year Show Role Season # Notes
1974–83 Little House on the Prairie Laura Ingalls Wilder 1–9 Two Young Artist Awards
Nominated: Golden Globe Award
1992 Stand By Your Man Rochelle Dumphy 1
1992–95 Batman: The Animated Series Barbara Gordon/Batgirl 1 & 2 Voice
1994–95 Sweet Justice Kate Delacroy 1
2012 Dancing with the Stars Herself / contestant 14 Finished in 5th place
Guest appearances
Year Show Role Season Episode Notes
1972 Gunsmoke Spratt's Child 18 4: "The Judgement"
Emergency! Jenny 2 10: "Dinner Date"
1978 The Love Boat Rocky 2 3: "Julie's Dilemma/Who's Who/Rocky"
1985 Faerie Tale Theatre Gerda 4 2: "The Snow Queen"
1991 The Hidden Room 1 4: "Spirit Cabinet"
1996 Babylon 5 Anna Sheridan 3 17: "War Without End: Part 2"
21: "Shadow Dancing"
22: "Z'ha'dum"
1998 The Outer Limits Teresa Janovitch 4 6: "Relativity Theory"
Touched by an Angel Michelle Tanner 5 10: "The Peacemaker"
2002 Providence Lorna Berlin 4 21: "Smoke and Mirrors"
Presidio Med Grace Bennett 1 7: "Once Upon a Family"
2005 7th Heaven Marie Wagner 9 18: "Honor Thy Mother"
2006 Nip/Tuck Shari Noble 4 4: "Shari Noble"
2009 Chelsea Lately Herself 3 131: "Chelsea Lately"
2010 The Talk Herself / guest 1 Episode 29

Melissa Gilbert Facts for Kids. Kiddle Encyclopedia.