‘Little House on the Prairie’ Star Melissa Gilbert: Inside Her Former Romance with Billy Idol

by Matthew Wilson

“Little House on the Prairie” star Melissa Gilbert‘s romance with actor Rob Lowe is well known. But she also briefly dated singer, Billy Idol.

Gilbert played the nice and lovely Laura Ingalls on the hit TV show, which made her a household name. But she soon became attracted to the residential bad boy after a chance meeting. Idol was known for his rebel-ways and for being a leading figure in the punk rock movement. His album “Rebel Yell” was an important part of the Second British Invasion, which made him a star in the United States.

Gilbert had been out with a friend when she met Idol. The two sat the musician’s VIP are at one of the local clubs. And the actor and musician started talking. Gilbert was almost instantly smitten.

“My first thought was wow, he is gorgeous,” Gilbert wrote in her memoir, according to Country Music Family. The conversation ended up not being half bad either. The actress was all too aware of Idol’s reputation, perhaps that was part of the allure. But the singer also showed his softer side rarely seen in the public.

“He impressed me as a sweet, gentle, and soft-spoken charmer,” Gilbert said. “He wanted to know all about Michael Landon and he asked what it was like to grow up on television.”

During the conversation, both the actor and singer traded numbers with promises to get in touch. A few days later, Idol reached out to the actor about going on a date. So began what ended up a brief but whirlwind relationship.

Melissa Gilbert Broke Up with Billy Idol

Their relationship became the gossip of town. Gilbert and Idol didn’t exactly make sense together as a couple to many. But rarely does love follow traditional means. Neither does infatuation also for that manner. Gilbert remembered the public pressure of the papparazi.

“The tabloids had a field day trying to figure us out. In the public eye, we were the ultimate odd couple,” she wrote.

But ultimately, that wasn’t what caused the two to break up. Gilbert decided to break up with Idol after a party in Beverly Hills. Gilbert caught a side of Idol, a “glimpse of darkness” that she didn’t like. Not only did Gilbert witness a party go off the rails, but the singer also took her to musician Rick James’ house. That experience ended up being even more terrifying for the actress.

After the encounter, Gilbert decided to call it quits.