‘Little House on the Prairie’s Melissa Gilbert Has Sister Who Stars in ‘Roseanne’ and ‘The Conners’

by Matthew Wilson
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“Little House on the Prairie” star Melissa Gilbert also had a sister who has been equally successful in her own right, starring on “Roseanne.”

That’s right Laura Ingalls and Darlene Conner are sisters. If not by blood then definitely by family. Melissa Gilbert and Sara Gilbert are siblings. Paul Gilbert and his wife Barbara adopted Melissa when she was still an infant.

They also later adopted Melissa’s brother Jonathan as well. Both siblings later starred in the classic series “Little House on the Prairie.”

In 1972, Paul and Barbara Gilbert got a divorce. Four years later, he died reportedly from suicide, according to Melissa. Barbara married an attorney Harold Abeles and gave birth to Sara Abeles in 1975. Sara grew up watching her older siblings star on “Little House on the Prairie.”

She realized that she wanted to be an actor as well. In 1984, Sara took the last name Gilbert to honor her mother’s first husband and to share the same stage name as her famous siblings. One of her first roles was as Jean in the TV movie “Calamity Jane.” But as a kid, Sara Gilbert quickly joined the sitcom “Roseanne” as the sarcastic daughter Darlene. It’s a role that made her a star in her own right.

Melissa Gilbert Supports Her Sister

After starring on “Roseanne” for nine seasons, Sara Gilbert later reprised her role in a revival and also the spinoff “The Conners” as well. Gilbert takes center stage in the spinoff, which follows the Conners struggling to move past the death of the family’s matriarch. Actor Roseanne Barr was fired due to tweets she made. And her character Roseanne was killed off.

Melissa Gilbert has become a doting big sister, constantly bragging about Sara’s accomplishments. For instance, Sara created and starred in the talk show “The Talk.” In 2019, she decided to leave the show. Melissa took to social media to celebrate all of her achievements.

“I love my baby sister [Sara Gilbert] so much,” she wrote. “I am so incredibly proud of her. She created an incredible show in [The Talk]. I know that this, for her, may feel like an ending, but I also know, with all my heart, that this is really the beginning. Just watch!” 

As a whole, Melissa Gilbert has a number of famous family members. For instance, her father was an actor in his own right. And her maternal grandfather created “The Honeymooners.”

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