May. 8th, 1964
Los Angeles, California, USA
Melissa Gilbert's Main TV Roles
Main Movie Roles1967 - The Reluctant Astronaut
Guest TV Roles
Herself - Contestant
Melissa Ellen Gilbert (born May 8, 1964) 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.
Gilbert was the youngest actor to ever be awarded a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame. She has since continued working in both film and television.
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.
- Adopted sister of 'Sara Gilbert' (qv). Sara is the natural daughter of 'Barbara Cowan' (qv) and Harold Abeles. Cowan and late husband 'Paul Gilbert (II)' (qv) together adopted Melissa and Jonathan Gilbert. Sara took the last name of 'Paul Gilbert (II)' (qv) when she began acting in 1984.
- Best known by the public for her role as Laura Ingalls Wilder on _"Little House on the Prairie" (1974)_ (qv).
- Aunt of 'Sara Gilbert' (qv)'s son Levi and daughter Sawyer.
- Had a highly publicized relationship with 'Rob Lowe (I)' (qv) during the eighties and were supposedly engaged.
- Both her ex-spouse ('Bo Brinkman' (qv)) and current spouse ('Bruce Boxleitner' (qv)) played Confederate officers in _Gods and Generals (2003)_ (qv).
- Inducted (as a cast member of _"Little House on the Prairie" (1974)_ (qv)) into the Hall of Great Western Performers of the National Cowboy and Western Heritage Museum in 1998.
- Adopted daughter of 'Paul Gilbert (II)' (qv) and 'Barbara Cowan' (qv).
- Gilbert was one of 500 young girls who auditioned for the role of Laura Ingalls Wilder in the TV series _"Little House on the Prairie" (1974)_ (qv) and she was the only one whose screen test was sent to be considered at NBC Studios. It was 'Michael Landon (I)' (qv)'s daughter 'Leslie Landon (I)' (qv) who told Melissa that she had won the role of Laura when the two of them stood in line at their school cafeteria.