“Little House on the Prairie” star Melissa Gilbert shared an adorable Christmas throwback photo on Instagram Saturday morning.
The photo features a young Gilbert in the lap of actor Bob Newhart as Santa, from the Dean Martin Christmas Special in 1968.
While many know Melissa Gilbert for her role in “Little House on the Prairie,” not many know that her grandfather, Harry Crane, is the man behind the Dean Martin Christmas Special.
Gilbert says of her grandfather, “Harry Crane was a comedy writer for many, many, many years. He wrote all of the Dean Martin roasts. He created The Honeymooners. It’s hard to sum up my grandfather in less than a week, let alone a two-minute answer. My grandfather was an extraordinarily funny, dry man who knew everybody. I grew up with all of my grandfather’s friends, with uncle Dean [Martin], and uncle Sid [Caesar], and uncle Danny [Thomas]. I didn’t know that any of them were famous,” the actress explains. The respect she has for him and his work is undeniable.
Little House on The Prairie’ Remains Relevant
Clearly, talent runs in the Gilbert family. Harry Crane is not the only one with notable work! Melissa Gilbert starred in the “Little House on the Prairie” series for many years. The show premiered in 1974, while the country was in the midst of a recession, an oil crisis, and the infamous Watergate scandal.
The show remains strangely relevant in today’s world, with re-runs still on TV. Gilbert says in an interview, “‘Little House on the Prairie,’ then, provided people with the reminder of what we went through when we started this country, and how difficult that was,” said Gilbert. “And I think we’re at that place again. If we could have done what we did in the 1800s, in the 1970s, we can do this. The keys are gonna be compassion, community, faith (whatever that faith looks like), love – that’s it. That’s all that matters.”
The One Time Melissa Gilbert Forgot Her Lines
Ultimately, Gilbert loved her time on set. But it wasn’t always sunshine and roses! Considering how young she was when Gilbert forgot her lines, she took it pretty harsh. The actress shares, “Only one time did I not know my lines. And it only happened once. I kept forgetting and I kept forgetting. Michael finally cut and he said, ‘You don’t know your lines, do you?’ And I just started crying. So, he cleared the set. He made everybody go away.”
Gilbert continues, “.. [I] Just burst into tears, ’cause I was busted. And he said, ‘Just calm down. We’re gonna do this. You’re gonna learn your lines.’ And we did it and we did it and we did it. And I finally got it… I was ready. I said, ‘Thank you so much.’ And I gave him a hug. He said, ‘You’re so welcome.’ And then he got down right in front of me and he said, ‘And that is never happening again, is it?’ And it never did.”