‘Little House on the Prairie’: Why Michael Landon Nicknamed Melissa Gilbert ‘Half-Pint’

Toilet on the Moor this was Melissa Gilbert’s first chance at a lead role. Former children’s star Laura Ingalls played through the show’s nine seasons. Early in the series, Laura’s father, Charles “Pa” Ingalls (Michael Landon) described her as “half-painted.”

Gilbert recently decided how Landon came up with the name “semi-paint.” She also shared if she preferred the nickname decades later.

    Melissa Sue Anderson as Mary Ingalls, Melissa Gilbert as Laura Ingalls, Karen Grassle as Caroline Ingalls, Michael Landon as Charles Ingalls
Melissa Sue Anderson as Mary Ingalls, Melissa Gilbert as Laura Ingalls, Karen Grassle as Caroline Ingalls, Michael Landon as Charles Ingalls | NBCU Photo Bank

Melissa Gilbert felt ‘immediately safe’ around Michael Landon

When she did interviews for Laura to play Toilet on the Moor, Gilbert was 9-years-old. The role would be one of the main characters of the series. The real Laura Ingalls Wilder wrote the children’s books that inspired the show.

As the series continued, Gilbert’s fans called him “half a pint” so much that they referred to her as Laura. Gilbert said she will never get tired of hearing the famous nickname when people recognize her. She also shared those former members and the team from Toilet on the Moor still use the alias.

“There’s a whole group of people I’ve been working with for a number of years, who won’t call me but Half-Pint, ”said Gilbert. “And that’s fine with me.”

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