There is a longstanding myth that successful child actors and actresses do not go ahead to have stellar acting careers as adults. Whether or not this myth has been proven to be true or false, Melissa Gilbert certainly fits into the mold as she enjoyed a wonderful acting career as a child but was not able to carry it on into her older years.
The Primetime Emmy and Golden Globe nominated actress is best known for playing the role of Laura Ingalls Wilder in the NBC series Little House on the Prairie (1974-1984).
On the 8th of May, 1964 in Los Angeles, California, Melissa Gilbert was born to Kathy Wood and David Darlington. A day after her birth, her birth parents gave her up for adoption to actor and comedian Paul Gilbert and his wife Barbara Crane, a dancer and actress. Gilbert was raised by her adoptive parents who went on to adopt another child, actor turned stockbroker named Jonathan Gilbert. The couple however divorced when she was 8 years of age and her adoptive mother went ahead to marry Harold Abeles, whom she welcomed her very own biological daughter with, actress Sara Gilbert.
As a child, Gilbert appeared in numerous commercials which led to her appearing in a few minor television shows. While still attending elementary school, she was able to land her first major acting role in the hit western drama series titled Little House on the Prairie in 1973. Gilbert was on the show for ten years before it was ended in 1983. By this time, she had gained a reputation for her acting ability which ensured that she was never quite out of a job as she appeared in a number of television films and series but was however unable to land any of the major big budget roles.
In 1985, Melissa Gilbert received a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame for her contribution to the television industry. She continued to appear in different TV roles all through the 80s and 90s including Stand By Your Man (1992), Sweet Justice (1994-95) and Babylon 5 (1996). In the 2000s, Gilbert served two terms as Screen Actors Guild President before going into stage performing as she appeared in the musical adaptation of her former hit show Little House on the Prairie.
Melissa Gilbert Net’s Worth
According to Celebrity Net Worth, Melissa Gilbert has a net worth of about $500 thousand. The Golden Globe Award-nominated actress whose tenure as the President of the Screen Actors Guild union lasted from 2001 to 2005, is said to have made her money from her different roles behind and in front of the camera. She is also said to be running a few businesses and has earned some money from publishing her autobiography.
It is not clear if Gilbert’s reported debt of $472,000 in back taxes to both the California and U.S federal government has anything to do with the somewhat low net worth figure reported. Since her debt was revealed, the actress has negotiated a repayment plan with the IRS in order to avoid serving jail time.
Family – Spouse or husband, Children
Melissa Gilbert is currently in her third marriage. The actress, who had intended to run for a seat at the United States House of Representatives in 2016 but dropped out due to health reasons, was first married to actor Bo Brinkman. The couple got married on the 22nd of February, 1988, just seven weeks after she broke up with her ex-fiance. Gilbert was for a few years engaged to actor Rob Lowe but called things off around the time Lowe was embroiled in multiple sex tape scandals with numerous women.
During their marriage that lasted until 1992, Gilbert and Brinkman welcomed a son on the 1st of May, 1989 named Dakota Paul Brinkman. Her next marriage was then to actor Bruce Boxleitner on the 1st of January, 1995. The pair, who had previously known each other reconnected in 1992 and dated on and off for a year. They eventually got serious with each other and got engaged, although they called it off twice, before deciding to take the bold step. Soon after getting married, Gilbert got pregnant and gave birth to a son named Michael Garrett Boxleitner on the 6th of October, 1995.
Everything seemed rosy for the couple until Gilbert announced that she and her husband separated in early 2011. In August that year, she filed for divorce, giving room for her to meet and start dating actor Timothy Busfield. The pair got engaged in January 2013 and then got married on the 24th of April, 2013.