Melissa Gilbert first found fame as an actress at the impressionable age of nine, when she scored the lead role of Laura Ingalls Wilder in the classic TV historical drama, “Little House on the Prairie.” Now, at 57 years old, the series icon has spoken out about life after the series. Most recently, she shared how she’s found a new love for nature after abandoning her battle for youth.
“Little House on the Prairie” aired for nine seasons between 1974 and 1983. During that time, we followed Laura and her family as they endeavored for a happy life in the American midwest. When the show concluded, the Laura Ingalls actress was just 18 years old and wrapped the most iconic role of her career.
Later, with Hollywood’s pressure to always appear young, Gilbert chased the elusive fountain of youth. Multiple times, she underwent Botox and plastic surgery to achieve a certain look.
“I finally woke up and went, ‘What am I doing? I look like a carrot top, and I’m not happy,’” she shared with People magazine.
It was then she decided to abandon the pressures of the world of fame. She soon marries her husband, and also fellow actor, Timothy Busfield in 2013.
“I cut off all my hair and quit doing Botox and all that stuff,” she said. The “Little House on the Prairie” alum added that she’d also found a “reawakened love for the outdoors.”
Melissa Gilbert, ironically, has settled into life in a cabin far from the glitz of fame. She and her husband now enjoy life in the quiet of New York’s Catskill Mountains.
Melissa Gilbert Discovers Hollywood Realities Following Life on ‘Little House on the Prairie’
After living life as a child star for so long on “Little House on the Prairie,” it makes sense that Melissa Gilbert feels constant pressure to achieve a youthful appearance. However, after turning life around and abandoning the glamor of fame, the longtime actress quickly realized what Hollywood truly values.
“You have to stay thin. You have to be seen in the right places, wear the right shoes, and drive the right car.”
However, as she reveals, “it never sat right.”
“I grew up in an industry that values the outside considerably more than the inside,” she told the news outlet. Gilbert added, “I was caught in that wheel of trying to stay young.”
Melissa Gilbert managed to have a successful career in acting, both on TV and in films, long after her run on “Little House on the Prairie.” She’s also an accomplished author, with several publications to her name. Her newest book is entitled “Back to the Prairie” and details her midlife adjustment from life in Hollywood to life in the East, in her NY cabin. Since Melissa Gilbert abandoned Hollywood, the iconic “Little House on the Prairie” actress has also become an outspoken advocate for self-love and body positivity.