Little House on the Prairie star Melissa Gilbert grew up in front of millions. The Laura Ingalls actress was both a role model and the envy of many young girls. But despite her intense job in the spotlight, she wasn’t so different from anyone else. Like any kid growing up, Gilbert also experienced crushes on TV characters.
“My first crush was Adam West’s Batman.” she told US Weekly.
Adam West portrayed Batman in the 1960s Batman series. The popular show ran on ABC for two years. A feature-length film version of the show was released in 1966.
But Ingalls quickly became a classic TV star in her own right. She spent a huge amount of her childhood playing Laura on Little House on the Prairie.
Melissa Gilbert Uses Her Childhood Character for Inspiration
Now, Gilbert is all grown up. The actress just had a granddaughter. A few years ago, Gilbert even ran for congress before having to drop out of the race due to a painful and severe spinal problem. She recently opened up about how she got through those tough times. One person, she looked to the most? Her childhood character Laura Ingalls.
“I’m channeling my inner Halfpint for this one,” Gilbert wrote in a social media post about going in for another surgery. “The one who believes anything is possible. The one with courage and moxie to spare!!”
While the injury and subsequential withdrawal from the race was devastating for Gilbert, she got the needed time to get medical care and heal. Little House on the Prairie inspired many and continues to do so. Even though Gilbert worked behind the scenes to make the magic of the show possible, she still finds inspiration in it herself.
Gilbert made a Friend in A Surprising ‘Little House on the Prairie’ Co-Star
Despite the intense rivalry between their characters, Melissa Gilbert and “Nasty” Nellie actress Alison Arngrim became close friends while on Little House on the Prairie In fact, they still spend time together. The two actresses were rumored to dislike each other, but that was based on fiction.
While lots of childhood friends fall out of touch, Gilbert and Arngrim always try and find time for eachother.
“The truth is, there wasn’t a point where we didn’t like each other… People still assume that we hate each other. But we’re very much friends,” Arngrim said in an interview. “We text and talk all the time. Some of us stay in touch on social media … The cast has become a family. We check in on each other all the time.
Arngrim and Gilbert had some of the most hilarious and iconic scenes on Little House on the Prairie. The two made fantastic rivals on TV. From the iconic wheelchair accident scene to the scene where Laura shoves mud into Nellie’s mouth, the two characters were always a joy to watch together.
From having little crushes to becoming one of the most loved characters on tv to making lifelong friends, Gilbert’s childhood was quite busy. If you want to see Gilbert’s work on Little House on the Prairie for yourself, it’s available in re-runs and on streaming.