Gilbert, Melissa Ellen

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Melissa Gilbert was adopted as a new-born baby by a well-known Hollywood family. Her parents were actors and her grandfather was a television writer. Her parents divorced when she was eight and her adoptive father died when she was 11

became one of the principal actors, playing Laura Ingalls, in the long-running television series Little House on the Prairie, whose male lead, Michael Landon, became a surrogate father-figure to her. She has a large number of other acting credits to her name.

The family also includes an adopted brother, Jonathan, now a New York stockbroker, who as a child also acted in Little House on the Prairie, playing the part of Willie Oleson; he also later acted with Melissa in The Miracle Worker. Their half-sister, Sara, who played Darlene in the sitcom Roseanne, is not adopted.


Lifetime Entertainment Services. "More About Melissa Gilbert's Personal Life." [Includes portrait]. Available at:
Jenkins, Shannon. "The Unofficial Melissa Gilbert Homepage." [Includes portraits]. Available at:
Krijgsman, P.D. "About Sara: The Unofficial Sara Gilbert Fan Page." [Includes portraits]. Available at:
Slegg, Jennifer. "Jonathan Gilbert." Available at:


20th Century
21st Century
Theater, Broadcasting, Cinema
Formal, American/European-Type Adoption
Birth or Infancy
Wealthy, Famous, Noble or Divine Adoptive or Foster Families
Divorce or Premature Death of Adoptive Parent(s)
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