It’s strange to witness a kid star grow into an adult, following their career while we practically track the development of their lives.
There are many children in Hollywood who are only a flash in the pan; those who make their debut in a hit film or TV series, only to have their popularity wane quickly. They frequently wind up working ‘regular’ occupations, even if they are occasionally recognized for the part they played.
However, there are others whose star potential has been fully realized. You know the type: the kids who make an impression with their first performance and then proceed from strength to strength.
Melissa Gilbert unquestionably falls under the second type.
Melissa initially appeared as Laura Ingalls Wilder in the smash-hit Little House on the Prairie in 1974, when she was nine years old.
As impressive as her casting was, she had no idea the level of celebrity and fame it would take her to. Neither did they anticipate the show’s global scope and popularity.
Little House on the Prairie, starring Michael Landon and Karen Grassle, ran for nine seasons and catapulted the young Melissa Gilbert to dizzying heights she could never have imagined.
Melissa was only a child when she got her iconic role as Laura Ingalls Wilder on Little House on the Prairie. She actually grew up on set between the ages of eight and 18, and the experience impacted her life, including giving her a father figure in her on-screen father Michael Landon.
“I’ve always loved my job,” she told Parade. “I had a great time on the set of Little House on the Prairie. It was a delightful and amazing environment to grow up if you were a child performer.”
While fans will always remember her as Laura, her Hollywood exploits did not end with Little House on the Prairie. She went on to star in television films such as The Diary of Anne Frank and The Miracle Worker, was President of the Screen Actors Guild from 2001 to 2005, finished fifth on Dancing with the Stars, and ran for Congress in Michigan’s 8th congressional district in 2016, winning the Democratic primary before withdrawing due to health issues.
Indeed, the actress, now 58, left the glamour and glam of Los Angeles for the Catskills in New York in recent years, seeking serenity, tranquillity, and better contemplation.
Gilbert has stated in recent interviews that it required a lot of elbow grease to spruce up the old house she and her husband moved into. “It had no heat, and the plumbing was kind of wonky,” she explained to Fox News. “It was as if the people had just wrapped up and left the house, and it had sat like that for decades.”
“When we walked in the front door — I’ve smelled musty places, [but] I’ve never smelled anything like the smell that came from this house,” she explained to Next Avenue. “It was completely overwhelming.”
“But… the longer we stood in that musty, stinky, crowded place, the more I saw past all of that, and realized that this place had the potential to be something incredibly special,” she continued.
The Aging Process
Furthermore, Melissa has recently stated that she is tired of fighting nature and the aging process.
“I grew up in an industry that values the outside much more than the inside, and I got caught in the hamster wheel of trying to stay young.”
Melissa endured a succession of Botox, fillers, and breast implant operations over the years in an attempt to defy aging normally.
This was hardly unusual in Hollywood, a city known for applying aesthetic filters to almost everything. According to sources, Melissa’s first encounter with cosmetic surgery occurred following her work on the 1981 television film Splendor in the Grass.
The makeup crew for the film darkened her nose to make it look thinner while she was on site. This left Melissa with the impression that she would need to have her body transformed in order to perform certain roles adequately.
Years of experimenting with various sorts of cosmetic surgery, including a breast implant procedure and Botox, followed.
Melissa, on the other hand, soon realized that the person she was transforming herself into simply wasn’t her.
“It was a red carpet for the season 4 premiere of Nip/Tuck, and I was all dressed up,” she revealed. And it was the peak of all the fillers in the Botox, and my hair was extremely colored. And that threw me for a loop because I was looking at myself, wondering, “Who is that person?” That is not who I am.”
Melissa had surgery to remove her breast implants in 2015. “One of the smartest things I’ve ever done,” she stated. “I shaved off all my hair and stopped getting botox and other cosmetic procedures. I’m enjoying all of the changes, as well as seeing what’s going on and getting to know this new person.”
Melissa, we’re rooting for you no matter what road you take. We at Newsner think that everyone, regardless of form, size, or stature, should be able to feel at ease in their own skin.
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