Melissa Gilbert Falls Off the Marriage Wagon Again

Melissa GilbertActress Melissa Gilbert has come a long way from Walnut Grove and that charming meadow where she's running down the hill with her dog Jack and big sis Mary and little Carrie face-plants. That's the idealized image I will always have of Melissa Gilbert playing Laura Ingalls Wilder in the TV adaptation of the classic book Little House on the Prairie.

Nothing could break that family apart. Not wild dog attacks, blizzards, famines, bandits, illnesses, accidents, and other tragedies that seemed to happen every week. It just made the Ingalls Family stronger! Oh, if only life really did imitate in this instance ...

Gilbert, 47, recently filed for divorce from husband Bruce Boxleitner following a five-month separation and citing "irreconcilable differences."


It's been a bad week for the Gilbert girls. Melissa's younger sister, Sara Gilbert, 36, most famous for her role as incorrigible Darlene Conner on Rosanne and now a talk show host, announced she's splitting up with her longtime partner of 10 years, Allison Adler, with whom she has two kids.

Boxleitner, who made a career out of mediocre TV movies and mini-series, is considerably older than Gilbert at 61, and they share a son, Michael, 15, named after Gilbert's TV dad, Michael Landon, together. Gilbert is seeking custody.

Perhaps Melissa and Sara can come together in this difficult time and support each other, just like Mary and Laura frequently did on the show. Maybe it will make them stronger, make them not take life so for granted, make them appreciate the things they do have rather than the things they don't ... Or maybe I need to get a grip and realize that this is Hollywood and not delusional fairyland?

But that would not be in keeping with the Little House on the Prairie spirit. Nope, Charles would definitely not approve of that. So allow me to continue on the inspirational train by sharing these words of wisdom to help these women battle life's next storm. You guessed it -- they're all from Laura Ingalls Wilder:

"There's no great loss without some small gain."

"The real things haven't changed. It is still best to be honest and truthful; to make the most of what we have; to be happy with simple pleasures; and have courage when things go wrong."

And one of my all-time favorites ...

"Remember me with smiles and laughter, for that is how I will remember you all. If you can only remember me with tears, then don't remember me at all."

Does Melissa's divorce shock you?

Image via Frederick M. Brown/Getty

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