Melissa Gilbert, a beloved American actress, author, and producer, has been a household name since her early days as a child star. Best known for her role as Laura Ingalls Wilder in the classic TV series “Little House on the Prairie,” Gilbert has carved out a successful career spanning decades. Now, we’ll take a closer look at her early life, her path to success, and her impressive net worth.
Net Worth: $500 Thousand
Date of Birth: May 8, 1964
Place of Birth: Los Angeles, California
Profession: Actor, Television Director, Voice Actor, Businesswoman
Melissa Gilbert Early Life
Born on May 8, 1964, in Los Angeles, California, Melissa Ellen Gilbert had show business in her blood. She was adopted by actor Paul Gilbert and his wife, actress and comedian Barbara Crane, shortly after her birth. With parents who were already stars in their own right, it’s no surprise that Melissa’s journey into the world of entertainment began at an early age.
Melissa’s acting career took off when she was just eight years old. She landed the role of Laura Ingalls in “Little House on the Prairie,” which ran from 1974 to 1983. As a young child, she captured the hearts of millions with her portrayal of the spirited pioneer girl. Her performance earned her a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame in 1985, making her one of the youngest actresses to achieve such an honor.
Throughout her childhood, Melissa continued to work in television and film, appearing in popular series like “The Love Boat,” “Fantasy Island,” and “Different Strokes.” She also starred in numerous made-for-TV movies, further solidifying her status as a sought-after actress.
Melissa Gilbert Personal Life
Melissa Gilbert’s personal life has been as colorful and eventful as her professional career. She has been married three times, first to actor Bo Brinkman, with whom she has a son named Dakota. The couple divorced in 1992, and Melissa later married actor and producer Bruce Boxleitner in 1995. Together, they have a son named Michael, named after her on-screen father, Michael Landon. Unfortunately, their marriage ended in divorce in 2011. In 2013, she found love again with actor and director Timothy Busfield, and they have been happily married ever since.
Melissa is known for her strong and supportive relationships with her family, including her siblings, fellow actors Jonathan Gilbert and Sara Gilbert. Throughout her life, she has also maintained close friendships with her “Little House on the Prairie” co-stars, particularly Michael Landon, who was a mentor and father figure to her.
Melissa Gilbert Career
Following her time on “Little House on the Prairie,” Melissa Gilbert continued to make a name for herself in the entertainment industry. In addition to her many television and film roles, she has also been actively involved in various organizations within the industry.
From 2001 to 2005, Melissa served as the president of the Screen Actors Guild (SAG), where she worked tirelessly to advocate for actors’ rights and improve working conditions. Under her leadership, the organization tackled pressing issues such as age discrimination, digital piracy, and the merger with the American Federation of Television and Radio Artists (AFTRA).
In recent years, Melissa has taken on the role of producer, working behind the scenes on various projects. In 2018, she co-produced and starred in the film “Guest Artist,” directed by her husband, Timothy Busfield. She has also expressed interest in directing, further diversifying her skill set within the entertainment industry.
Throughout her career, Melissa Gilbert has demonstrated an unwavering commitment to her craft and a deep love for the world of entertainment. Her resilience and adaptability have allowed her to remain relevant in an industry that is constantly evolving. From her humble beginnings as a child star to her current ventures as an actress, author, and producer, Melissa Gilbert has left an indelible mark on Hollywood and continues to be an inspiration to many.
Melissa Gilbert Net Worth
Melissa Gilbert’s net worth is a testament to her hard work, talent, and perseverance in the entertainment industry. With an estimated net worth of around $500 Thousand, she has enjoyed a successful career spanning over four decades. Let’s delve into the various aspects of her life that contributed to her financial success.
Television and Film Career: Melissa’s most significant source of income has been her acting career. After her breakthrough role in “Little House on the Prairie,” she went on to star in numerous TV shows and movies. Her filmography includes “The Miracle Worker,” “Choices of the Heart,” and “Splendor in the Grass.” Additionally, she lent her voice to animated characters, most notably as Batgirl in “Batman: The Animated Series.”
Author: Melissa is also a talented writer. She has penned three books, including her 2009 autobiography “Prairie Tale: A Memoir,” which delves into her life as a child star and her journey through adulthood. Her other books, “Daisy and Josephine” and “My Prairie Cookbook,” have also contributed to her net worth.
Reality Television: In 2012, Melissa participated in the 14th season of “Dancing with the Stars,” where she was partnered with professional dancer Maksim Chmerkovskiy. Though they didn’t take home the trophy, her participation in the show earned her a considerable paycheck.
Theatre: Gilbert has also dabbled in theatre, making her Broadway debut in 2009 as Ma Ingalls in the musical adaptation of “Little House on the Prairie.” She has since performed in various stage productions, including “The Diary of Anne Frank” and “Steel Magnolias.”
Activism and Politics: In 2016, Melissa announced her candidacy for the United States House of Representatives as a Democrat, but ultimately had to withdraw due to health reasons. Although her political aspirations didn’t come to fruition, she has remained an active advocate for various causes, such as animal rights and children’s welfare.