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Melissa Gilbert to star in 'Steel Magnolias' play

Melissa Gilbert to star in 'Steel Magnolias' play

FAYETTEVILLE, Pa., May 29 (UPI) --Melissa Gilbert is set to play the character of M'Lynn in a stage production of "Steel Magnolias."
Danielle Haynes
'Little House on the Prairie' stars enjoy happy, tearful reunion

'Little House on the Prairie' stars enjoy happy, tearful reunion

NEW YORK, May 1 (UPI) -- Seven "Little House on the Prairie" stars and the son of late actor Michael Landon reunited Wednesday on the Today show.
Annie Martin
'Today' show to host 'Little House on the Prairie' reunion

'Today' show to host 'Little House on the Prairie' reunion

NEW YORK, April 29 (UPI) -- The "Today" show plans to host Melissa Gilbert, Alison Arngrim and six other "Little House on the Prairie" cast members for a reunion on Wednesday.
Annie Martin
Richard Bull, television actor, dead at 89

Richard Bull, television actor, dead at 89

CALABASAS, Calif., Feb. 4 (UPI) -- Illinois-born actor Richard Bull has died at the age of 89, his former "Little House on the Prairie" co-star, Melissa Gilbert, announced via Twitter.
Melissa Gilbert recalls dating Tom Cruise decades ago

Melissa Gilbert recalls dating Tom Cruise decades ago

LOS ANGELES, Jan. 24 (UPI) -- Actress Melissa Gilbert revealed on Bravo's "Watch What Happens Live" she dated Tom Cruise when he first arrived in Hollywood decades ago.
Melissa Gilbert once dated Tom Cruise

Melissa Gilbert once dated Tom Cruise

Jan. 23 (UPI) -- Melissa Gilbert had some dirt to dish on her fellow celebrities.
Gabrielle Levy

The almanac

UPI Almanac for Wednesday, May 8, 2013.
By United Press International
People in the news

People in the news

The latest news on today's hottest celebrities ...
By United Press International
Melissa Gilbert and Timothy Busfield get engaged

Melissa Gilbert and Timothy Busfield get engaged

LOS ANGELES, Jan. 29 (UPI) -- Melissa Gilbert's publicist said Tuesday the U.S. actress is engaged to actor Timothy Busfield.
People in the news

People in the news

The latest news on today's hottest celebrities ...
By United Press International
Fegan, Gilbert get the boot on 'Dancing'

Fegan, Gilbert get the boot on 'Dancing'

LOS ANGELES, May 8 (UPI) -- Melissa Gilbert and Roshon Fegan became the latest celebrities eliminated on the competition series "Dancing with the Stars" in Los Angeles Tuesday.

The almanac

UPI Almanac for Tuesday, May 8, 2012.
By United Press International
People in the news

People in the news

The latest news on today's hottest celebrities ...
By United Press International
No more 'Dancing' for Jaleel White

No more 'Dancing' for Jaleel White

LOS ANGELES, May 1 (UPI) -- Actor and TV personality Jaleel White became the latest celebrity eliminated from "Dancing with the Stars" in Los Angeles Tuesday.
People in the news

People in the news

The latest news on today's hottest celebrities ...
By United Press International
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Photos
Melissa Gilbert
LOS ANGELES-FEBRUARY 5: Melissa Gilbert , president of the Screen Actors Guild, arrives at the 11th annual Screen Actors Guild Awards on February 5, 2005, in Los Angeles. (UPI Photo/John Hayes)
Wiki

Melissa Ellen Gilbert (born May 8, 1964) is an American actress, writer, and producer, primarily in movies and television. Gilbert is best known as a child actress who co-starred as Charles Ingalls's (played by Michael Landon) second daughter, Laura Ingalls Wilder, on the dramatic television series Little House on the Prairie (1974–1984). As an adult, she has a very long list of acting, voicework, writing, producing, and directing credits. Melissa also served two terms as President of the Screen Actors Guild. On June 9, 2009, her autobiography Prairie Tale: A Memoir was released.

Born in Los Angeles, California, Gilbert was adopted one day later by actor and comedian Paul Gilbert (born Ed MacMahon, he changed his name to Paul Gilbert to get a Screen Actors Guild card)and his wife, dancer and actress Barbara Crane, the daughter of The Honeymooners creator Harry Crane. The couple later adopted a son, Jonathan Gilbert, who co-starred with Melissa as Willie Oleson on Little House on the Prairie. When Melissa was 8, her parents divorced. Barbara then married Harold Abeles, and together they had biological daughter Sara Rebecca Abeles (the actress known professionally as Sara Gilbert), born on January 29, 1975. On February 12, 1975, Paul Gilbert suffered a stroke and died at the age of 56. Barbara and Harold Abeles' marriage later ended in divorce.

With Hollywood connections in her family background and a natural ability for entertaining at a very young age, Gilbert had already done dozens of commercials, including one for Alpo dog food with Lorne Greene (Michael Landon's television father on Bonanza). She tried out for the role of Laura Ingalls, Charles Ingalls' middle daughter, on NBC's 2-hour pilot of the book Little House on the Prairie. Growing up she was unfamiliar with Landon, having never met him or watched Bonanza. She attended school with his daughter, Leslie Landon who guested on Little House as a teen and then played school teacher Etta Plumb during the last season. It was Leslie who informed her that she had won the role of Laura, beating out over 500 child actresses for this part. The pilot was shot in 1973 and was a ratings success. Almost a year later Gilbert began filming the series. Gilbert became extremely close to the Landon family after her adoptive father died. A rift, however, developed between Michael Landon and Gilbert after the revelation of Landon's affair with Little House's young makeup artist, Cindy Clerico.

This article is licensed under the GNU Free Documentation License.
It uses material from the Wikipedia article "Melissa Gilbert."
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