In a podcast released today, Little House on the Prairie actress Melissa Gilbert talked about the most fascinating person she met. Gilbert played the iconic Laura Ingalls on the hit show, and has clearly met many fascinating people during her time on the show and elsewhere.
On top of her time on Little House on the Prairie, Gilbert also went into politics and leadership. In fact, she had a 2016 run for congress before a back injury forced her to drop from the race.
For obvious reasons, It took Gilbert a while to think up an answer when asked “Who is the most fascinating person you’ve ever met?” on the Mondays with Mindy podcast.
“Holy crow. There’s so many because I have so many different lives, right?” she said. “All the wonderfully talented actors and actress directors I’ve worked with. There are the teachers that inspired me. There’s my own relatives, and then there’s all the people I met in my varying leadership positions whether I was running for congress or president of the screen actors guild,” she said.
“The two things that popped into my head were Kind Hussein of Jordan and President Obama.” Gilbert didn’t meet Obama when he was president, in fact, she met him long before he was president when she was on the AFL-CIO executive council and they had a convention in Chicago. At the time, Obama was a senator and was the keynote speaker for the event.
“Those experiences are mind-boggling,” she said. “I look back at it and go, ‘oh yeah’ while i’m out cleaning poop out of the chicken coop now.”
The Back Injury that Cost the ‘Little House on the Prairie’ Alum the Election
As mentioned, Melissa Gilbert was pursuing big goals with her political career, but that all changed after a spinal injury took over her ability to campaign. The actress, director, and politician has had to undergo multiple spinal surgeries. Her most recent surgery was last November.
While Gilbert had suffered back problems for decades, her 2016 drop-out followed injuries that were sustained in 2012. First, the actress fell on Dancing with the Stars and walked away with a concussion and whiplash. Only a few months later, a balcony of a house she was renting collapsed on top of her, compressing the discs in her neck.
“It’s indescribable to have to make this decision because I had my sights set on my opponent and a lot of people around me felt that I could win,” Gilbert told People after pulling out of the race. While the actress was devastated. by the decision, she seems to be doing better now. In fact, she just welcomed in a new grandchild to her family.
Melissa Gilbert awed America on Little House on the Prairie and since then has thrived in both politics and entertainment. When it comes to meeting interesting people, she’s sure to have more than a few stories.