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Melissa Gilbert

Melissa GilbertAKA Melissa Ellen Gilbert

Born: 8-May-1964
Birthplace: Los Angeles, CA

Gender: Female
Religion: Jewish
Race or Ethnicity: White
Sexual orientation: Straight
Occupation: Actor

Nationality: United States
Executive summary: Little House on the Prairie

Melissa Gilbert was nine years old when she won her signature role, playing Laura Ingalls Wilder on TV's Little House on the Prairie. She grew up in America's living rooms as the show continued for ten seasons, and she came to think of her TV father, Michael Landon, as a mentor and friend. She has said that Landon taught her to cry on cue, and in high school she briefly dated his son. During her teen years, she dated Tom Cruise, long before he became a superstar. To this day, Gilbert maintains that persistent rumors of Cruise's homosexuality are emphatically untrue.

At 15, she played Helen Keller to Patty Duke's Anne Sullivan in a remake of The Miracle Worker, and the next year she starred in a remake of Diary of Anne Frank. She played a rape victim in 1985's Sylvester with Richard Farnsworth, and found herself unexpectedly pregnant at 19 in the next year's teleflick Choices. She has become a staple of TV movies where she plays essentially "the victim", and for her work in this genre, she has been called Queen of the Lifetime Network.

She served two terms (2001-05) as President of the Screen Actors Guild. During her tenure her loudest political statement was to condemn filmmakers who took film production to cheaper venues in foreign countries. It was considered controversial, then, when she starred in a 2003 telefilm shot in Alberta, Canada.

Gilbert was adopted when she was a newborn. Her parents were both actors of limited renown; her grandfather, Harry Crane, was a vaudeville comedian who later wrote comedy for Steve Lawrence and Eydie Gorme.

In 1996, she sued the National Enquirer after the paper interviewed her ex-husband Bo Brinkman, and quoted him calling her "a deadbeat mother". In 1999, she and then-husband Bruce Boxleitner were sued after selling their house, which the buyer claimed was infested with rats and flies. In 2015, she announced her candidacy for Congress.

Father: Paul Gilbert (adoptive father, actor, b. 1918, d. 1976)
Mother: Barbara Crane (actress)
Brother: Jonathan Gilbert (child actor, now stockbroker, b. 10-Jul-1968)
Sister: Sara Gilbert (actress, half-sister, b. 29-Jan-1975)
Boyfriend: Michael Landon Jr. (anti-cancer activist, dated in high school)
Boyfriend: Tom Cruise (actor, dated as a teenager)
Boyfriend: Cyrill O'Reilly (actor, b. 1958, dated 1981)
Boyfriend: Rob Lowe (actor, dated 1981-87, broken engagement)
Husband: Bo Brinkman (actor, b. 1956, m. 21-Feb-1988, div. Feb-1994, one son)
Son: Dakota Paul Brinkman (b. 1-May-1989)
Husband: Bruce Boxleitner (actor, m. 1-Jan-1995, div. 2011, one son, two stepsons)
Son: Michael Garrett (b. 6-Oct-1995)
Husband: Timothy Busfield (actor, m. 24-Apr-2013)

    High School: The Buckley School, Sherman Oaks, CA

    Screen Actors Guild President (2001-05)
    AFL-CIO Executive Council
    American Red Cross Celebrity Cabinet (2005)
    Gephardt for President
    Rudy Giuliani Presidential Committee
    Hollywood Walk of Fame
    Hernia Operation (1977)
    Funeral: Michael Landon (1991)
    Risk Factors: Smoking, Appendicitis

    Sweet Justice Kate Delacroy (1994-95)
    Little House on the Prairie Laura Ingalls (1974-83)

    Sacrifices of the Heart (10-Jan-2007)
    Thicker Than Water (12-Mar-2005)
    Lisa Picard Is Famous (14-May-2000) · Herself
    Mistaken Identity (24-Nov-1999) · Sarah Barlow
    The Soul Collector (24-Oct-1999)
    Murder at 75 Birch (9-Feb-1999)
    Her Own Rules (13-Oct-1998)
    Christmas in My Hometown (10-Dec-1996)
    Zoya (17-Sep-1995)
    Against Her Will: The Carrie Buck Story (5-Oct-1994)
    Dying to Remember (2-Dec-1993)
    The Lookalike (12-Dec-1990)
    Donor (9-Dec-1990)
    Forbidden Nights (10-Apr-1990)
    Without Her Consent (14-Jan-1990)
    Blood Vows: The Story of a Mafia Wife (18-Jan-1987)
    Choices (17-Feb-1986)
    Sylvester (15-Mar-1985)
    Splendor in the Grass (26-Oct-1981)
    The Diary of Anne Frank (17-Nov-1980)
    The Miracle Worker (14-Oct-1979)

Official Website:

Author of books:
Prairie Tale: A Memoir (2009, memoir)

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