‘Little House on the Prairie’ Star Melissa Gilbert Revealed Her Parents Weren’t ‘Looking’ to Adopt Her

by Evan Reier
Photo by Paul Zimmerman/FilmMagic)

The path to being a parent isn’t always clear. That was certainly the case for Little House on the Prairie star Melissa Gilbert’s adoptive parents.

In her tell-all book Prairie Tale, Gilbert opened up about all aspects of her life. Of course, Little House on the Prairie was a focal point, but the story of Melissa Gilbert goes far beyond that. It also starts with a pretty unique beginning.

Gilbert was given up for adoption right after her birth. A day later, actors Paul Gilbert and Barbara Crane welcomed her into their lives. But it wasn’t always rosy. In fact, her father tragically suffered from constant pain, and later committed suicide due to it.

But even with the harshness of her childhood, she still detailed much of the fondness and positive memories she had in Prairie Tale. This includes the spontaneous manner in which she was adopted.

One excerpt began with her godmother, Mitzi, describing the day and dropping a bombshell.

“Out of the blue my mother said, ‘Well, imagine what a shock it was for me!'”

Of course, the rest of the family looked in shock.

“‘I mean, we had no plans to adopt a child,'” Gilbert’s adoptive mom said. “‘We weren’t even looking,’ she continued. ‘Then I got a phone call that there was a baby available and did I want it?’ She turned to me. ‘I called your dad.  He was on the road and he said, ‘Yes, that’s the one. Go get it.'”

On top of that, Gilbert hadn’t even been born yet. This was prepping for Gilbert to be given up, and sure enough, the Gilberts added another to their family.

Little House on the Prairie Star Melissa Gilbert Spoke on Nellie Oleson

Getting back to the onscreen activities of the Little House on the Prairie star, Gilbert spoke on one of America’s most favorite antagonists back in 2014: Nellie Oleson.

Nellie was the thorn in the side of the Ingalls kids. Pretentious, snobby and just an all-around brat, Nellie was a character people loved to hate. In an interview with legendary radio host Sway, Gilbert and Sway conversed about Nellie.

“In my opinion, before there was Mean Girls the movie with Lindsay Lohan,”  he said, “It was Nellie Oleson.”

For those unaware, Mean Girls was a 2004 film that was a smash success. The entire premise of the film is high school girls backstabbing and hurting each other.

Gilbert added on to the comment with her own perspective in the context of media since Little House on the Prairie.

“She probably did [pioneer the mean girl,]” Gilbert said. “Before her, there was only The Bad Seed and The Omen.”

The Little House on the Prairie star also revealed that Alison Arngrim is one of her best friends today. Nellie and Laura, best of friends. Who would’ve thought?