‘Little House on the Prairie’ Star Melissa Gilbert Reflects on ‘Challenging’ Role in Classic Horse Movie

by Matthew Memrick
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Former “Little House on the Prairie” star Melissa Gilbert took to social media to reflect on her “challenging” classic horse movie on Friday.

The 57-year-old former “Little House on The Prairie” star recalled her 1985 family drama film “Sylvester.”

In a Flash Back Friday post for Instagram, Gilbert recalled taking a “cow horse” and turning him into an Olympic eventing horse. Her character is a 16-year-old orphan charged with raising two younger brothers while training the horse. 

Gilbert recalled the shoot being “really tough,” both “physically and emotionally.” The production took place in the Texas towns of Alpine and Marfa. Some scehttps://outsider.com/american-entertainment/little-house-on-the-prairie-star-melissa-gilbert-asks-prayers-sweet-friend-and-family-ukraine/nes took place at the Kentucky Horse Park in Lexington, Ky., in the summer of 1984.

“I trained hard for months before we even started shooting,” Gilbert said. “It was exhausting and yet so rewarding.”

The actress said the movie was a big flop at the box office, but it “remains one of the most challenging and satisfying jobs I ever had.”

In case you’re wondering, yes. Yes, the horse was named after the actor Sylvester Stallone. According to IMDb, Stallone permitted the movie producers to use his name in conjunction with the animal but no more than seven times. 

The horse for the competition was called “Sylvester Metz.” IMDB also said it was named after previous owner Sue Sally Hale’s stepfather, Sylvester Metz (also known as Richard Talmadge), an iconic Hollywood stuntman.

Gilbert Formed Longtime Friendships During Hard Work

Melissa Gilbert also gave the movie credit for producing some life-long friendships.

The actress was 20 when she starred with great actors like Michael Schoeffling, Richard Farnsworth, and Arliss Howard. 

The film was one of director Tim Hunter’s first films. He went on to do more along while directing TV shows.

Since the film, Hunter has worked on several TV series. He directed two “Bosch” episodes (2018’s “Past Lives” and 2016’s “Everybody Counts”), two Fox drama shows of “Next” in 2020, and a movie called “The Smiley Face Killers” in 2020. 

Social Media Loved Gilbert’s Post

One Instagram commenter took a look at the movie stills and said, “For a little bit of a thing, you rode that horse like a badass.”

James Weske commented on Gilbert’s post, too.

“Loved this movie when I was a kid,” Weske said. “Watched it many times. I grew up riding as well, so it was inspiring to me. Well done!!”

Melissa Gilbert’s Relationship with Sara Gilbert

Recently, Central Recorder looked into the Gilbert sisters. Both are half-sisters raised by the same mother, Barbara Cowan.

According to Pop Sugar, Barbara, and her husband, actor Paul Gilbert adopted Melissa. The man got Melissa Gilbert into acting, but his parents divorced when she was 8.

Barbara and her second husband, Harold Abeles, had Sara Gilbert in 1975. The “Roseanne” and “The Connors” star took Gilbert as her last name to help her chances when she got into acting.

Though there’s an 11-year age gap, both women excelled at acting. Melissa Gilbert considered college while on her “Little House” series. But she later decided against it. Sara went to Yale University while taking a break from “Roseanne.” She graduated in 1997. 

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