Name: Melissa Gilbert
Birthday: May 8, 1964
Birthplace: Los Angeles, California
Height: 5' 3"
Only 10 when the show first aired, Melissa played the role of Laura
Ingalls. Born in Los Angeles in 1964, Melissa first worked
professionally at the age of 2 in a baby commercial. Resuming her career
at the age of 7, she landed various other commercials along with roles
in "Gunsmoke", "Emergency!" and "Tenafly".
With a former actress for a mother and comedian for a father, Melissa
literally grew up surrounded by show business. She was one of 500 young
girls who auditioned for the role of Laura Ingalls Wilder for the show.
She was the only one whose screen test was considered and sent to NBC.
It was Michael Landon's daughter, Leslie, who told Melissa that she had
won the role of Laura when the two of them stood in line at the school
cafeteria. Melissa is the youngest person ever to receive a star on the
Hollywood Walk of Fame. Her sister is actress Sara Gilbert and her
brother is actor Jonathan Gilbert ( Willie Oleson ) in "Little House".
Melissa married Bo Brinkman in 1988 and later divorced in 1992, and
then married actor Bruce Boxleitner in 1995. When she gave birth to her
baby boy, she gave him the first name of Michael, in memory of her TV
father and good friend, Michael Landon.
Melissa was inducted into the Hall of Great Western Performers of the
National Cowboy and Western Heritage Museum in 1998 for her work in
"Little House on the Prairie".
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