How Michael Landon Guaranteed Melissa Gilbert the 'Laura Ingalls' Role in 'Little House on the Prairie

For nine seasons, Melissa Gilbert                                                                              portrayed Laura Ingalls on Little House on the Prairie. Gilbert was able to act alongside seasoned actors in this role. 

Michael Landon, the creator and protagonist of Little House on the Prairie, was one of her most influential mentors. Gilbert wrote in her memoir, Prairie Tale, about her experiences as a child celebrity. She also discussed how Landon cast her as Laura.Once, Melissa Gilbert referred to Michael Landon as 'handsome' 

Prior to Little House on the Prairie, Gilbert appeared in a number of advertisements. She also secured minor roles on The Love Boat and Gunsmoke. Gilbert didn't have the opportunity to play a starring television role until Landon wrote the script for Little House on the Prairie. Her audition was the first time Gilbert met Landon, a former Bonanza star. In Prairie Tale, Gilbert described how she felt when she first set eyes on Landon. 

"I read for him in a room at Paramount Studios," she wrote about Landon. "I recall thinking, Oh my goodness, he's so attractive. He exuded a distinct type of energy than the average person. It had greater energy."Melissa Gilbert stated that Michael Landon only shared her audition for 'Little House on the Prairie' with NBC. 

After her initial audition, Landon chose Gilbert to participate in a screen test. After the screen audition, Gilbert was cast in the role of Laura. Gilbert wrote in her memoir that Leslie, Landon's daughter, told her she received the job. 

In that era, Gilbert anGilbert recalled, "I screamed and ran to the office, where there was an emergency phone for students to use." "I called home and informed my mother of the situation. She shrieked with excitement and demanded that I retell the story. As I did so, I felt as if booster rockets had ignited beneath me, and I was about to launch into a thrilling, uncharted world.

"Decades later, Gilbert claimed she discussed her audition at Leslie's nuptials with Landon. She relayed to Landon that he only showed NBC her screen test, ensuring that she received the part. 

"Oh sure. I understood. "I knew instantly that you were her," Landon reportedly told Gilbert. "I did not even want them to consider anyone else."Michael Landon represented a 'father figure' to Melissa Gilbert. 

While portraying father and daughter on-screen, Gilbert and Landon had a close relationship. Gilbert not only looked to Landon for career advice, but the actor also became a father figure to her. 

Gilbert even dated Mike Jr., one of Landon's offspring, as a teen. "When my father died [in 1976], our relationship grew even closer," Gilbert told Entertainment Weekly. "Our families grew close. Every Easter, we vacationed together in Hawaii. Mike Jr., his son, was my prom date.

" Towards the conclusion of Little House on the Prairie, Gilbert and Landon's relationship hit a snag. Gilbert wrote in Prairie Tale that her mother informed her that Landon had divorced his second wife, Lynn. Her mother persisted in claiming that Landon had an affair with a Little House cosmetics artist.

 The actor from Ice House recalled feeling conflicted about Landon and his ex-wife. She stated that the incident affected both her professional and personal relationship with Landon."It was assumed that I would be able to continue my relationship with Mike after he divorced his wife," she said. I was trapped in the middle as those around me took opposing positions.

Gilbert and Landon reconciled prior to his death from cancer in 1991. Gilbert honored her surrogate father by naming her first son Landon.

Post a Comment


Close Menu