She’s turning 58 and a grandmother, but to most viewers, Melissa Gilbert is still Laura Ingalls, the upright, smiling girl with pigtails and a hat around her neck. From the Ingalls family, she walks around Walnut Grove trying to solve the town’s problems. problems.
Although the final episode of her series starring creator Michael Landon aired nearly 40 years ago in 1983, Gilbert has embarked on numerous projects since then, but has always been unable to escape the role that made her famous at a very young age. early. However, unlike other former “star children” who have been forgotten or have spent their entire lives trying to distance themselves from childhood memories of her, Gilbert decided to embrace this legacy and continue to capitalize on it to this day.
Raised by a family of artists, Melissa Gilbert’s destiny was at a pre-ordained point. She was adopted by actors Barbara Cowan and Paul Gilbert on May 8, 1964, the day after her birth. Her grandfather was renowned screenwriter Harry Crane, who worked with Laurel and Hardy, Frank Sinatra, Dean Martin and more. Around the same time, the artist couple adopted another child, Jonathan Gilbert, who would play Willie Oleison in the Ingalls family, Laura’s archenemy and brother to the annoying Nellie Oleison. . Later, Melissa’s mother had a biological daughter with her second husband, Sarah Gilbert, who also started acting.
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At age 9, Melissa auditioned for Langdon’s series based on novelist Laura Ingalls Wilder’s autobiography, the first of which was published in 1932. The Ingalls family paints a picture of the trials and tribulations of a pioneer American family. In the 19th century, he faced everything from plagues, droughts, and tornadoes to personal tragedies like child deaths and maiming accidents. However, the series also includes great comedic moments from characters like Harriet Oleson (Katherine MacGregor), the villainous owner of the only grocery store in town, and good characters like Mr. Edwards (Victor French) from time to time, recalling viewers that not everything is Es el Valle de las Lágrimas.
Apparently, more than 500 girls were introduced to the middle son of Charles Ingalls. But it was Gilbert, when she wore that cute lollipop that made her smile irresistible, who stole everyone’s heart, including Langdon’s. The actor not only created the series, but also landed the role of Laura’s father, Charles Ingalls. As the actress recalled years later, it was Langdon’s own daughter, Leslie, who went to school with her, and she revealed to him during her recess that she won the part.
Over the years, Gilbert never tired of repeating Langdon’s importance of her in her life, giving him not only to care for her, but to become a second father to her after her death, when she was only 11 years old. Among other things, he assured Langdon that Langdon had taught him values such as the importance of family, community, empathy, and love, themes that featured prominently in television shows designed by the then-rich star.
In a July 2020 interview with CBS, the actress said that Langdon created a very interesting environment during filming, so the decade he spent on the set of the Ingalls family never found him for a job. “It’s like spending time at a big summer camp, but there too I have to dress in those cool clothes and button-up shoes. I never remember it not being fun,” she said.