‘Little House on the Prairie’: How Almanzo Wilder Actor Dean Butler ‘Messed up’ on His First Day Filming—’What the F*ck Is Wrong With This Kid?’

Laura Ingalls’ love interest, Almanzo Wilder, was introduced in the sixth season of Toilet on the Moor. Melissa Gilbert, the actress played by Laura, was 15 at the time. Dean Butler, the actor behind Almanzo, was in his twenties. Gilbert was terrified of her new co-star, so she was thrilled when he made “the first day of filming.”

Melissa Gilbert, Dean Butler, and baby on 'Little House on the Prairie' set
Melissa Gilbert and Dean Butler NBCU / NBCUniversal Photo Bank via Getty Images via Getty Images

How Melissa Gilbert felt about working alongside Dean Butler as Laura and Almanzo on ‘Little House on the Prairie’

In her memory, Prairie story, Gilbert writes about her first impression of Butler.

“When we last met I was struck by a perfect storm of disappointment, fear, anger and discomfort,” she wrote.

Butler was trained, but something went wrong when filming the final scene.

“Almanzo put his team down the road and came upon Laura,” Gilbert wrote. “He was wearing this big hat, which I thought made him look like a doofus. Then his hat blew off. When he turned to grab it, he pulled the reins and steered the horses and bucket into a tree. I fell into a spasm of giggles. ”

To make matters worse, Michael Landon was there and “he wasn’t happy.”

“He had been driving horse teams for decades and his first time Bonanza a long time ago to remember, ”wrote Gilbert. “I remember he looked at Dean who said, ‘What’ s wrong with this baby? ‘No one should have to maintain that view. Or my not-so-careful spies. ”

Today, Gilbert and Butler are “good friends.” He knows about how he scared Gilbert back in the day, and how she was happy with his big mistake in his first day filming.

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