There has long been a myth that successful child actors and actresses do not have a brilliant acting career as adults. Regardless of whether or not this myth has proven true or false, Melissa Gilbert certainly fits the bill, as she enjoyed a wonderful acting career as a child but was unable to continue it in her older years.
Nominated for Primetime Emmy and Golden Globe, she is best known for the role of Laura Ingalls Wilder in the NBC series Little House on the Prairie (1974-1984).
Melissa Gilbert was born on May 8, 1964, in Los Angeles, California, the daughter of Kathy Wood and David Darlington. One day after her birth her biological parents gave her up for adoption to the actor and comedian Paul Gilbert and his wife Barbara Crane, a dancer and actress. Gilbert was raised by her adoptive parents, who then adopted another child, the actor and stockbroker Jonathan Gilbert. However, the couple divorced when she was 8 years old and her adoptive mother married Harold Abeles, with whom she welcomed her own biological daughter, the actress Sara Gilbert.
As a child, Gilbert appeared in numerous commercials, which led to her appearing in several smaller television shows. While still attending elementary school, she won her first major acting role in the successful western drama series Little House on the Prairie in 1973. Gilbert appeared in the series for ten years before she was hired in 1983. By this time she had already built up a reputation for her acting skills, which ensured that she was never completely out of work, as she appeared in a number of television films and series but was unable to land any of the big-budget roles.
In 1985 Melissa Gilbert was awarded a star on Hollywood’s Walk of Fame for her contribution to the television industry. During the 1980s and 1990s, she continued to appear in various television roles, including Stand By Your Man (1992), Sweet Justice (1994-95), and Babylon 5 (1996). In the 2000s, Gilbert served two terms as president of the Screen Actors Guild before going on stage to perform in the musical adaptation of her earlier hit series Little House on the Prairie.
Melissa Gilbert Net’s Worth
According to Celebrity Net Worth, Melissa Gilbert has net assets of approximately $500 thousand. The Golden Globe Award-nominated actress, whose term as president of the Screen Actors Guild lasted from 2001 to 2005, is said to have earned her money with her various roles behind and in front of the camera. She is also said to have run some businesses and earned some money by publishing her autobiography.
It is not clear whether Gilbert’s reported tax debt of $472,000 to the California and U.S. governments has anything to do with her somewhat low net worth. Since her debts were uncovered, the actress has negotiated a repayment plan with the IRS to avoid jail time.
Family – Spouse or husband, Children
Melissa Gilbert is currently in her third marriage. The actress, who had intended to run for a seat in the U.S. House of Representatives in 2016 but dropped out for health reasons, was initially married to actor Bo Brinkman. The couple married on February 22, 1988, only seven weeks after she had separated from her ex-fiancé. Gilbert was engaged to actor Rob Lowe for several years but broke it off when Lowe was involved in several sex tape scandals involving numerous women.
During their marriage, which lasted until 1992, Gilbert and Brinkman welcomed a son named Dakota Paul Brinkman on May 1, 1989. Their next marriage was with actor Bruce Boxleitner on January 1, 1995. The couple, who had known each other before, got back together in 1992 and dated each other repeatedly for a year. Eventually, they got serious and got engaged, although they canceled it twice before deciding to take the bold step. Shortly after his marriage, Gilbert became pregnant and gave birth to a son named Michael Garrett Boxleitner on October 6, 1995.
Everything seemed rosy for the couple until Gilbert announced that she and her husband would separate in early 2011. In August of the same year, she filed for divorce, which gave her space to meet and date actor Timothy Busfield. The couple got engaged in January 2013 and then married on April 24, 2013.