‘Little House on the Prairie’: An Inside Look at Melissa Gilbert’s Relationship With Michael Landon Jr.

Melissa Gilbert became friends with Michael Landon’s children, Leslie and Michael Landon Jr., shortly after she was cast as Laura Ingalls on Toilet on the Moor. They became the “second family” of the young actor. Leslie was one of Gilbert’s best friends (she was the first person to tell Gilbert that she got the part of Laura, and the first person she ever got drunk years later ). And while Gilbert and Michael Jr. started. out as close friends, they developed teenage skins. Here’s a look at their short romance from Gilbert’s point of view.

Melissa Gilbert and Michael Landon Jr.  attends the third annual media award on January 22, 1981 at the Beverly Hilton Hotel in Beverly Hills, California
Melissa Gilbert and Michael Landon Jr. | Ron Galella, Ltd./Ron Galella Collection via Getty Images

Melissa Gilbert had real feelings for Michael Landon Jr.

Although it might seem like the perfect PR opportunity for Toilet on the Moor, Gilbert swears the remembrance, Prairie story, that her relationship with Landon was not “squeezed for PR reasons like there were so many teenage romances in Hollywood.”

This was one of the first people to be really crushed.

“It was commendable; she had blond hair, curly hair and a good sense of humor, ”she wrote. “I would lie in bed at night and my face would drip before my eyes as I tried to fall asleep. This was the first time I had experienced stomach butterflies when I thought of a boy. ”

The innocent lives of Melissa Gilbert and Michael Landon Jr.

Gilbert wrote about one date a dinner with Landon where he cooked her spaghetti. But, without marinara around, he topped the pasta with “can de Hormel chili. ”

As controversial as the dish sounds, Gilbert wrote “it was very tasty.”

Gilbert and Landon went on a ski trip together (with many others in attendance, including adult chaperones).

Actress Michael Landon Jr. and actress Melissa Gilbert will attend the third annual “Changing Attitudes” Media Awards Gala on January 22, 1981 at the Beverly Hilton Hotel in Beverly Hills, California
Michael Landon Jr. and Melissa Gilbert Ron Galella / Ron Galella Collection via Getty Images

“My mother sent a group of children on a ski trip to Sun Valley, where she had a condo,” Gilbert wrote. “The gang included my brother and Mike Jr. Despite having a number of adult defenders, it was a big moment for me to be away with a boy. ”

Gilbert was embarrassed so she spent much of the weekend playing pranks.

“On that trip, I knew how to open the bathroom door when it was locked, so Mike Jr. while I was carving in while my brother was in the shower and throwing a bucket of snow over it, ”she wrote. “Jonathan had never screamed so loud or loud in his life.”

Melissa Gilbert would not say her relationship with Michael Landon Jr. ‘romance’

While Gilbert was certainly pushing Landon, she would never refer to their time together as something romantic.

“It was not a romance at all, although there was plenty of handcuffing and eye-popping,” she wrote. “We went to events together, talked enthusiastically about getting our learner’s permits, and commissioned when our orthodontists gave us both the same sad news that we had to keep wearing our gear. neck at night. ”

Even after her crushing fizzled Landon, the two remained close friends. Gilbert’s first true a romance would come a year or two later with Rob Lowe.

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