‘Little House on the Prairie’ Star Melissa Gilbert Shares Photo of Grandfather With Frank Sinatra

by Joe Rutland
(Photo by Roy Rochlin/Getty Images)

Who can say their grandfather got a picture with Frank Sinatra? Not too many, but Little House on the Prairie star Melissa Gilbert sure can.

Gilbert, who played Laura Ingalls on the NBC family drama, shared this photo on her Instagram account on Monday.

Let’s check out this pic with the “Chairman of the Board.”

OK, this is like a who’s who that will need a breakdown. Settle in, Outsiders. This should be some fun.

Well, as the Little House on the Prairie star writes, that’s her grandfather Harry Crane on the far left in the picture. Who was he? One of the most esteemed writers in both movies and television. Yes, he is Melissa’s grandfather as well as for Sara Gilbert and Jonathan Gilbert.

‘Little House on the Prairie’ Star’s Grandfather Helped Create ‘The Honeymooners’

Crane started out as a comedian on the Borscht Belt circuit before his writing career took off. He happened to suggest to the old DuMont Television Company in the 1950s to hire a young comic to take over their Cavalcade of Stars show. This comic was hired and he asked Crane and another writer to come up with a sketch on the show featuring a husband and wife.

The concept began as a sketch on that variety show. It starred the variety show’s new host, Jackie Gleason, and Pert Kelton. They were the first Ralph and Alice Kramden in the early 1950s. This concept continued on to Gleason’s show on CBS and, eventually, into the sitcom known as The Honeymooners.

Pretty good for the grandfather of this Little House on the Prairie star. But wait, there’s more.

Durante, Lawford, Sinatra All Had Their Place In American Entertainment

Jimmy Durante, second from left in the pic, was a vaudeville comedian known for witty singing and butchering the English language. Oh yes, Durante’s large nose was the center point for many jokes. He would make them himself as well as other singers and comedians doing so, too, including Sinatra.

Peter Lawford might be a name baby-boomer Outsiders remember. He was part of the “Rat Pack” with Sinatra, Dean Martin, Sammy Davis, Jr., and many others for a period of time. Lawford also had a connection with the family of President John F. Kennedy.

And, of course, Sinatra. In the picture, this appears to be during his crooner stage. It is true that Durante, Lawford, and Sinatra all had their place in American entertainment.

Yes, “Ol’ Blue Eyes” had a magnificent career and life. But Harry Crane? Oh, he did really well and his granddaughter has the history to share beyond Little House on the Prairie.