Little House on the Praire is the pinnacle of classic, wholesome television, but is it really peachy keen? Over the years, Melissa Gilbert, who starred as Laura Ingalls Wilder, has revealed little tidbits from the set that reveal some interesting truths. The Walnut Grove bunch have plenty of wild stories!
Mary Mary Quite Contrary
The on-screen animosity between Laura and Mary aptly reflects the off-screen coldness between Melissa Sue Anderson, who played Mary, and… well… the entire cast. Due to her supposedly aloof behavior, she never meshed with the family-like crew.
Melissa VS. Melissa
Much like their characters, Melissa Gilbert and Melissa Sue Andersen didn’t always get along. Their relationship was anything but sisterly, and they didn’t hang out. Melissa Gilbert’s on-set bestie was the last person you’d expect.
The characters Nellie Oleson, played by Alison Arngrim, and Laura Ingalls fought from childhood and into adulthood, but when the cameras stopped rolling Arngrim and Gilbert were inseparable. Alison surely had advice for the most difficult scene Melissa ever filmed.
Wedding Night Woes
Melissa Gilbert was only 15 when her character got married, and the scenes from Laura’s wedding night with Almanzo were pretty romantic. Gilbert says those scenes were very awkward to act at her young age with an older man.
The Weird And The Wedded
Melissa Gilbert says that her costars who played Nellie Olseson and her husband Percival capitalized on her shyness towards romantic scenes. At every possible opportunity, the on-screen couple would passionately “practice” their kissing scenes just to spite Melissa Gilbert.
Wild Nights With The Stars
Years later, Melissa Gilbert would get a love life of her own. Among her famous boyfriends were Scott Baio, Tom Cruise, Rob Lowe and Michael Landon Jr. In real life, the relationship between “half-pint” and Landon Sr. was disintegrating.
Fallen Father Figure
Tragically, Melissa Gilbert lost her dad when she was only 11-years-old. Her on-screen “Pa” Michael Landon filled that role until he broke her heart. Landon left his wife for a younger woman, and Gilbert never forgave him.
Michael Landon, who played Charles Ingalls, was a heartthrob. Some say he purposely made scenes where Charles was hurt so that he could be shirtless on screen. Charles Ingalls certainly had his fair share of broken ribs through the years!