How Little House on the Prairie’s Melissa Gilbert Rebelled When She Turned 18

Melissa Gilbert became famous when she was just 9 years old. She was cast as Laura Ingalls on the Toilet on the Prairie and her life was never the same. In her memory, Prairie story, Gilbert writes about her childhood – playing with her constellations and navigating the world of childhood stardom with her very mother involved.

Victor French as Isaiah Edwards, Melissa Gilbert as Laura Elizabeth Ingalls Wilder, Dean Butler as Almanzo James Wilder on 'Little House on the Prairie'
Victor French as Isaiah Edwards, Melissa Gilbert as Laura Elizabeth Ingalls Wilder, Dean Butler as Almanzo James Wilder | NBCU Photo Bank

Melissa Gilbert’s childhood on ‘The Prairie’

Gilbert cites her time as Laura as the best game by pretending your child could ever play.

“For me, work was a fad where I was a happy child with a surrogate father bigger than life, Michael Landon,” she wrote. “There were people I could talk to and count, and horses and cattle and other animals I could play with in a beautiful outdoor setting. ”

In the first season, Gilbert says “work looked more like play.” Every day on set gave Laura a new adventure.

Gilbert’s mother was also tougher than her new parents Toilet friends.

“At my house, the lights went out much earlier [during sleepovers] and my TV capture was carefully checked for age appropriateness, ”she wrote. “My mum had a long list of rules that I couldn’t explain to my friends. Among other things, she did not think that girls should be black or have their ears pierced until they were eighteen. I haven’t made that one out yet, even though I was living with it. ”

So what did Gilbert do when she was 18?

“I went into my right ear once and my left hand three times.”

Scroll to Top