‘Splendor in the Grass’: Melissa Gilbert and Cyril O’Reilly Had Intense Chemistry Upon Meeting—’I Was History’

Melissa Gilbert is best known for her role as Laura Ingalls Wilder in Toilet on the Moor. But in 1981, she starred as Deanie Loomis in a remake of Splendor in the Grass opposite Cyril O’Reilly as Bud Stamper. The film is about two teens who fall in love in pre-Depression Kansas and how to deal with parental stress and the tight sexual benefits of the day, according to IMDb.

Gilbert and O’Reilly had intense chemistry from the moment the actor heard Bud’s part.

Melissa Gilbert at the Opening Night of Offear Broadway "A Shayna Maidel"
Melissa Gilbert | Ron Galella, Ltd./Ron Galella Collection via Getty Images

When Melissa Gilbert and Cyril O’Reilly met at the audition for ‘Splendor in the Grass’

Gilbert was already cast in the role of Deanie (the TV movie was directed by her team), so, for the first time in her career, the Toilet the actor was involved in the throwing process when it came to finding Bud. There was one person who stood out to her from get-go.

“I chalk up to chemistry,” Gilbert wrote the memoir, Prairie story. “From the moment I looked into Cyril’s eyes, I was history. The wind blew him out of the room. It was as if the bullet was down the entrance corridor Poltergeist: go in / move out. ”

Melissa Gilbert at the Opening Night of Offear Broadway "A Shayna Maidel"
Melissa Gilbert | Ron Galella, Ltd./Ron Galella Collection via Getty Images

Gilbert had been pushing before O’Reilly, but it sparked new emotions in her.

“My head was spinning in a pleasant shadow I had never seen,” she wrote. “I felt a kiss somewhere deep in my abdomen and from there it spread warm and shone past the tips of my fingers and the ends of my toes and through and out each strand of my hair. It was like melting electricity.

“That was it. Cyril had closed the sale before I even knew I was in the market for nothing. All I knew was that I wanted more of that. “

Gilbert and O’Reilly have gone so far in real life. He was Gilbert’s first love.

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