From 1974 to 1983, “Little House on the Prairie” star Melissa Gilbert mixed it up with the likes of Michael Landon and Karen Grassle on screen. But when she wasn’t on set, she attended school with a different group of now-famous actors.
Melissa Gilbert’s career started at a young age. She was only 11 years old when she began working on “Little House on the Prairie.” And when she wasn’t playing Laura Ingalls, she was doing what all 11-year old kids do. She was going to school.
Specifically, she was attending The Buckley School. The Sherman Oaks-based private institution has a reputation for strong academics and boasts accomplished alumni. In addition to the “Little House on the Prairie” star, The Buckley School has churned out names like Rashida Jones, Bret Easton Ellis, Paris Hilton, and Kim Kardashian.
But when Melissa Gilbert was there, actress Laura Dern of “Jurassic Park” fame and “Desperate Housewives” star Nicolette Sheridan also attended.
Laura Dern’s career also started in the early 1970s. It wasn’t until the 1980s, however, that her career took off. Fans may recognize her from her 1990 role in “Wild at Heart,” starring opposite Nicolas Cage and Willem Dafoe. A few years later, she got her start in the franchise that made her a household name. She played the role of Ellie in the 1993 classic “Jurassic Park.”
Nicolette Sheridan’s career didn’t get going until the mid-1980s. But since then, she’s been a staple in shows and television movies. From 1986-1993, she played the role of Paige Matheson on “Knots Landing.” Her most recognizable role came when she starred as Edie Britt in “Desperate Housewives,” from 2004 to 2009.
The ‘Little House on the Prairie’ Star Struggled With Fame at an Early Age
As great as it is for aspiring actors to get early starts on their careers, the world of celebrity is not particularly easy for children.
“Little House on the Prarie” star Melissa Gilbert learned this the hard way during the time she spent playing the role of Laura Ingalls.
“When I was a young teenager is when it got difficult. At least as I’ve observed it, the teenage years are … when we are supposed to be somewhat undisciplined and stretching the boundaries,” Gilbert told the Post and Courier in 2018.
As hard as it was for Gilbert to navigate her work and personal life while starring on a hit show, the excitement of it all wasn’t lost on her.
“It’s my life, it’s not a show. That’s my childhood, right there, for everyone to see,” Gilbert said. “Every day, whatever adventure Laura was having, I was absolutely having it, too. It was beyond exciting.”
Working on “Little House on the Prarie” was clearly an exciting experience for Gilbert. But constantly putting your life on display for all to see as a child can take its toll. Fortunately, Gilbert managed to deal with the stresses of public life and has plenty to show for it.