Why ‘Little House on the Prairie’s’ Melissa Gilbert Said Nancy Reagan Made Her ‘Uncomfortable’

Toilet on the MoorMelissa Gilbert had the opportunity to work with First Lady Nancy Reagan on the “Just Say No To Drugs” awareness campaign. Gilbert was chosen as the youth spokesperson for her ACTION drug prevention program, and received a visit to the First Lady in the White House to discuss the campaign.

To her surprise, Reagan got very honest with Gilbert about personal matters. He finished making the Prairie actor feels “uncomfortable. ”

First Lady Nancy Reagan working in the White House
First Lady Nancy Reagan working in the White House Images of Dirck Halstead / Getty

Melissa Gilbert worked on the Nancy Reagan campaign

According to the Toilet on the Moor actress, was chosen to travel around the country by the First Lady so that she could speak to large groups of people about the “evils of drug use.”

Portrait of Melissa Gilbert
Melissa Gilbert standing for a photograph in 1987 | Donaldson Collection / Michael Ochs Archives / Getty Images

Gilbert was personally invited to the White House with her mother to speak to Ms. Reagan about the “Just Say No To Drugs” campaign.

But as it turned out, their conversation with the First Lady of the campaign was successful. Instead, their discussion became very personal, and, well… uncomfortable.

Nancy Reagan began courting the star of ‘Little House on the Prairie’

Nancy Reagan crying
Nancy Reagan crying Pictures of Sahm Doherty / Getty

In Gilbert’s memoir, she says she was ushered into the White House and entered a yellow flower room. The First Lady sat down with Gilbert and her mother for tea and biscuits to discuss the anti-drug campaign. But slowly but surely, Gilbert felt “the feeling in the room is changing. ”

All at once, things went from formal to personal.

“Mrs Regan started talking about her life at the White House and how she thought people had misjudged her, and said it was not just unfair but painful, ”Gilbert writes. “My mother sympathized with her, noting that Ms. Reagan had been through so much since her husband took office.” Her mother then referred to the assassination attempt on the president. “With that in mind, Mrs. Reagan began to talk about the day Ronnie was killed,” Gilbert wrote. “As she shared details, she started shouting, which made me uncomfortable. Then her tears turned into a full sob. My mother went over to the runway and put her arms around her. ”

She continues, adding to the unusualness of the situation. “The first woman from the United States was crying in my mother’s arms,” ​​she says.

Melissa Gilbert started using drugs to deal with her relationship with Rob Lowe

Rob Lowe and Melissa Gilbert dine at Elaine's Restaurant
Rob Lowe and actress Melissa Gilbert in 1987 | Ron Galella Collection / Getty Images

Ironically, Gilbert became addicted to drugs for a short time while in a relationship with Rob Lowe. The two went back and forth for six years. Although she admired him, she was uncomfortable with the female attention he would receive.

Because of this, she started taking drugs when they went out together. According to Gilbert, they helped her deal. “It was like getting into new, more confident, sharper skin,” she writes. “I immediately set out to find the best sellers I could find. From then on, when Rob and I went to a party or premiere, I’d make a mess, have a drink, light a cigarette, say goodbye to my image as the dark girl. ”

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