Full Name: Melissa Ellen Gilbert
Birthdate: May 8, 1964
Birthplace: Los Angeles, California, U.S.
Known for: Actress Director Producer Politician
Melissa Gilbert is a famous American figure. Her biography tells the story of a successful actress, producer, television director, and politician. Melissa was born in Los Angeles, California, on May 8, 1964. Her parents are Paul Gilbert and Barbara Crane.
Melissa has two children and three stepchildren. Gilbert has been active as an actress since 1967 till date. She is also a politician, and her political party is Democratic. Melissa served as the 26th president of the Screen Actors Guild between 2001 and 2005.
Melissa Gilbert Early Years
Melissa was born to a recently engaged couple named Kathy Wood and David Darlington. Her birthplace is Los Angeles California and the date was on May 8, 1964. The next day, which was May 9, Kathy Wood and David Darlington gave up Melissa for adoption. Then, Paul Gilbert and Barbara Crane adopted her and raised her as their child.
Paul Gilbert, whose parents named Ed McMahon, was an actor and comedian. Ed McMahon changed his name to Paul Gilbert so that he will get a Screen Actor Guild card. His wife Barbara Crane is also an actress and a dancer. Barbara is the daughter of Harry Crane. Harry Crane is the producer of Honeymooners.
After adopting Melissa, Paul, and Barbara adopted Jonathan alongside her. Melissa’s adoptive parents divorced in 1972 when she was just eight years old. Her mother Barbara Crane then married Harold Abeles. They both have a biological daughter Sara Abeles. Sara is also an actress and people know her professionally as Sara Gilbert.
Paul Gilbert later died on February 13, 1976, when Melissa was 11 years old. They told Melissa that he suffered from a stroke, but she discovered later that Paul suffered from constant pain. Also, she found that he took his own life. Soon, Barbara and Harold divorced, and Melissa was raised in her mother’s religion. Her mother, Barbara, practises the Jewish faith.
Melissa Gilbert Early Career
Melissa’s earliest appearances were in commercials. One of them is for Alpo dog food. Melissa helped promote the product. Melissa appeared with Micheal Landon father on Bonanza. Also, she attended the same school Landon’s daughter Leslie attended. Mellisa won the role of Laura Ingalls on Little House on the Prairie.
She beat over 500 child actresses for the position. There was a close relationship between Melissa and the Landons for some time. The relationship did not last because a rift developed between Landon and Melissa because she revealed Landon’s affair with Cindy Clerico. Gilbert also starred with Jean Donovan in the Choice of the Heart.
She also starred with Anna Sheridan in Babylon 5 along with Boxleitner. In 1985, Mellisa Gilbert received a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame for her contribution to the television industry. After that, they inducted Mellisa into the Western Performer Hall of Fame. Gilbert appeared as Hari Noble in 2006.
She played the role of a patient looking to reconstruct her nipples. Between 2008 and 2009, Mellisa played the part of Caroline Ingalls in Little House on the Prairie. Also, Melissa starred in Off-Off-Broadway in 2018. In 2012, Melissa joined contestants on Season 14 of Dancing with the Stars.
She had an accident while dancing the Paso Doble. She hit her head and suffered a slight concussion, and they eliminated her later. Melissa Gilbert served as president between 2001 and 2005 of the Screen Actors Guild. As an author, Melissa wrote a story for children called Daisy and Josephine.
She also wrote the cookbook My Prairie Cookbook: Memories and Frontier Food from My Little House to Yours. Melissa participated in politics when she announced her campaign for Michigan’s congressional district.
The campaign was a race for the post of Rep in the 2016 elections to the United States House of Representatives. She later backed out of the race because of her health issues. Melissa suffered head and neck injuries in the 2012 accident when she was dancing the Paso Doble.
Marriage and Personal Life
Mellisa married Bo Brinkman in 1988. Brinkman is a cousin of Randy Quaid. They both had a son Dakota Paul Brinkman. She ended her marriage to Brinkman with a divorce in 1992. After she divorced Brinkman, Melissa married Bruce Boxleitner.
They dated for sometime until January 2, 1995, when they finally got married in her mother’s living room. Boxleitner and Melissa had a son Micheal Garrett Boxleitner. Their marriage ended in 2011 when Melissa filed for divorce from Boxleitner.
Gilbert engaged Timothy Busfield after that, and in 2013, the couple got married. Melissa and Busfield lived in Howel, Michigan and later moved to New York in 2018.
Melissa received the Emmy Award for Outstanding Lead Actress in a Limited Series in 1980. She also received the Young Artist Award that same year. In 1981, Melissa received the Golden Globe Award for the Best Actress for Television Series Drama.
Also, in 2982, Melissa received the Young Artist Award for being the Best Young Actress in a Television Special Splendor. In 1983, she collected the Young Artist Award for the Best Young Actress in a Drama Series.
In 1984, Melissa won the Best Young Actress in a Drama Series Little House on the Prairie. While in 2000, she won the Golden Boot award.