Though Little House on the Prairie star Melissa Gilbert is known for her sunny disposition and demeanor, her life hasn’t always been so pleasant. In a documentary about her life, she spoke about taking life’s tougher moments in stride.
Talking to Gilbert herself and those who know her, the Biography YouTube account recently posted a full documentary of her life. In it, we learn everything about her, from her childhood to today. Her early life was a happy one but her parents divorced one another when she was six. This naturally took a toll on Gilbert and she spoke about how she handled the harder moments.
“There’s a lot of moments in my life that are, or should be, very traumatic that are just sort of fine,” she said. “They’re just OK. It happened. It’s bad and it’s sad. OK, let’s have our feelings and let’s go. And I operated that way for a really long time.”
With this mentality, Melissa Gilbert appeared to be a happy girl. Her bubbly demeanor led to a family friend commenting on it in 1970 and suggesting she try out for commercials. Her mother, Barbara Gilbert-Cowan, took her to one shortly after. When they entered the room, there were many kids on the floor and the director was also there. Melissa ran up to him, giving him a big hug and a kiss, cementing her role in the process.
This turned out to be her big break and before long, she appeared in dozens of commercials. As you might have guessed, she also secured her position on Little House on the Prairie.
Melissa Gilbert Recollected Auditioning for a Certain Commercial as a Kid
As stated, Melissa Gilbert had her hands full with commercials and television roles growing up. In the same Biography documentary, one commercial, in particular, stood out and she spoke about it.
The commercial in question was for a candy bar. That by itself is nothing special but Gilbert thought she was in a bit of trouble when she lied about being able to ride a bike to land it. “It was a candy bar commercial and in the audition, they asked us if we knew how to ride a two-wheeler bike because it was about a father and daughter riding bikes in the park. And I said ‘yeah, of course,” Gilbert stated. “I’d never been on a two-wheeler and I got it. And I got there and I didn’t know how to ride the bike.”
You might think when she showed up to film the commercial she’d be in trouble, but she made such an impression they rewrote it. Instead, the commercial became about a father teaching his daughter how to ride a bike.