‘Little House on the Prairie’: How Did Melissa Gilbert Meet Her Husband?

by Emily Morgan

Melissa Gilbert won hearts everywhere during her performance as Laura Ingalls Wilder on the beloved family series “Little House on the Prairie.” After she ended her stint on the show, she captured someone else’s heart when she met her future husband, Timothy Busfield.

Busfield, another heavy-hitter in the entertainment industry, won an Emmy for his portrayal of Elliot Weston in the series “thirtysomething.” Fans may also recognize him for playing Allison Janney’s love interest on “The West Wing” and playing Kevin Costner’s brother-in-law in “Field of Dreams.”

While it’s easy to assume the two met while working together on a set, their first meeting was pretty standard: they met at a bar.

During an interview with M Live from 2014, Busfield reminisced about meeting his future wife. “So I walked in the front door, and there was one person, sitting in my chair, at the bar. I looked, and then I stepped back outside…my first thought was, ‘I haven’t been on a date in 6 months, I’m just working and not dating, I really don’t want to date anyone right now.’ So I sort of talked to myself for a moment, and then I went in, sat at the bar, and ordered a drink. Then I saw her smile and I was gone.”

How Melissa Gilbert Met Her Future Husband

According to Busfield, the two met because his future bride was at the bar alone. Gilbert’s friend had forgotten his phone at a previous location and had left to go back and retrieve it. In the interview, Melissa Gilbert added that she didn’t usually sit in bars alone.

“I usually don’t just sit in bars alone,” she said. “I was out with my gay best friend…This bar we were going to go to was closed. So we moved on and decided, well, let’s sit in this place until the other place is open and then we’ll go dancing. But he’d left his cell phone at my place. So while he went back to get it, I was alone, talking to Joe the bartender.”

By the time Gilbert met Busfield, she had been divorced two times, with two children from her previous relationships. Busfield was also twice divorced with three children from his marriages. However, the two must’ve hit it off, considering they had a second date the following day.

After being inseparable, the two tied the knot in 2013 at San Ysidro Ranch in Santa Barbara, California. They settled in Howell, Michigan, and opened up a theater company together.

Later, they moved to upstate New York in 2018 and currently live on a farm where they spend their time on their own version of “Little House.”

In an interview with Parade from 2017, Melissa Gilbert spoke fondly of her husband and partner-in-crime. “I’m married to an incredibly creative man, who manages to continually create jobs for me. My favorite thing in the world to do is work together.”