‘Little House on the Prairie’: What Were Melissa Gilbert’s Biggest Roles After the Show?

by Emily Morgan
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For years, young Melissa Gilbert dazzled fans during her tenure as Laura Ingalls on “Little House on the Prairie.” From 1974 to 1983, she claimed the title as one of the most famous child actors. In her adult career, she would prove to be more than her “Little House” character when she booked roles in other television series and movies.

After ending her time on “Little House on the Prairie,” Gilbert continued to work as an actress, mainly booking parts for television roles. 

In 1983, she starred as Jean Donovan in the biopic Choices of the Heart. Later, she booked the role of Anna Sheridan for three episodes in “Babylon 5.” She received a recurring role on the show “Stand by Your Man” and “Batman.”

In the 2000s, Gilbert kept landing roles in popular television shows. She appeared in the family sitcom “7th Heaven” in 2005 and starred in an episode of “Nip/Tuck” in 2006. 

Melissa Gilbert’s Acting Career Following ‘Little House on the Prairie’

Gilbert would go back to her “Little House” roots when she played “Ma” Ingalls in the musical for Little House on the Prairie. Afterward, she would continue her stage career when she starred in the off-Broadway, limited-run production, My Brilliant Divorce, in 2018. 

Before that, she also dabbled in reality television when in 2012, Gilbert joined the cast of celebrity contestants on the popular dancing competition series, “Dancing with the Stars.” 

During week four, Gilbert had an accident when she fell and hit her head on her partner’s leg. As a result, she suffered a mild concussion which left her hospitalized. After spending time at home to recuperate, she returned to continue in the show. In week eight of the competition, she was eliminated and ended her run by finishing in fifth place.

Amid working in the entertainment industry, Gilbert also had a run in politics. In August of 2015, she announced her campaign for Michigan’s 8th congressional district in the 2016 elections. Sadly, Gilbert had to remove herself from the race in May 2016 due to head and neck injuries sustained in a 2012 accident.

In addition to booking roles on screen, Gilbert has also stayed busy in other ways. She released her autobiography, Prairie Tale: A Memoir, in 2009. In 2014, she also wrote a short story for children called Daisy and Josephine. Gilbert also released her cookbook: My Prairie Cookbook: Memories and Frontier Food from My Little House to Yours.

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