There was no show like Little House on the Prairie for a generation of television viewers.
Fans tuned in for nine seasons to follow the adventures of the Ingalls family, including Melissa Gilbert’s protagonist, Laura.
Gilbert has had a successful career since then, but most fans remember her as the Little House on the Prairie child star.
It may be difficult to believe, but Melissa Gilbert is now a grandmother!
While this news may make ’70s TV fans feel quite old, Gilbert, now 57, and her family are overjoyed. Dakota Brinkman and his wife, Marissa, recently welcomed their first child.
The actress and first-time grandmother announced the news yesterday on Instagram, alongside photos of her “sweet angel” granddaughter Ripley Lou Brinkman.
“She weighs 7lbs 7oz and is 19.5 inches long,” Gilbert wrote. “Everyone is healthy and doing well.”
Dakota is the actress’s eldest son and her only child from her first marriage to Bo Brinkman. She has another son, Michael, with her second husband, Bruce Boxleitner, and five other children as a stepmother.
Gilbert described Marissa, the new mother, as “a warrior through the whole process, and [Dakota] was the perfect partner to her.”
Gilbert remembers her time on Little House fondly, despite the fact that it’s been a long time since she was “half pint.”
“I loved my job from the get go,” she told Parade. “I certainly enjoyed being on the set of Little House on the Prairie. It was a great place to grow up if you are a child performer, and was fun and amazing.”
She appeared in television films such as The Diary of Anne Frank and The Miracle Worker during her time on the hit series. In 1985, she was honored with a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame.
She has continued to act on television, including in voiceover roles, since her days as a child and teen star. She competed on Dancing with the Stars in season 14, finishing fifth.
From 2001 to 2005, she served as President of the Screen Actors Guild. She returned to the world of Little House in 2008, this time as “Ma” Ingalls in a musical adaptation that toured the United States.
Tomothy Busfield, known for his roles in thirtysomething, Field of Dreams, and The West Wing, became her third husband in 2013.
She has also entered politics, running for Congress in Michigan’s 8th congressional district; however, despite winning the Democratic primary, she dropped out due to health concerns.