Melissa Gilbert Goes ‘Little House on the Prairie’ for Her New Project

LITTLE HOUSE ON THE PRAIRIE, Melissa Gilbert, 1974-83
Everett Collection

Oh Half-Pint, it’s always so good to see you back in our world. The 58-year-old Melissa Gilbert was inspired by her most famous role for her new venture. Gilbert played Laura Ingalls Wilder in the classic series Little House on the Prairie, based on the book of the same name. The series followed the life of the Ingalls family who lived in Minnesota in the 1870s–90s. In recent years, Gilbert has been an inspiration for aging gracefully and not adhering to the high expectations for women. She recently launched an online platform called Modern Prairie, geared toward women over 50.

On the Modern Prairie website, Gilbert sells kitchen, gardening and crafting products as well as offers crafting classes, a podcast, and a community atmosphere. When asked what inspired her to create the website, she shared, “You know, we are pigeonholed into two things. We’re either doddering, sweet old ladies or that horrible old shrew, stay away from her. And there’s so much more, we’re so much richer and have so many more accomplishments and have earned our right to our opinion. I found coming out of the pandemic was the importance of the little things in our lives, the really sweet, simple things, the connections, the community love, all the things we really missed while we were struggling through that horrible time.”

Melissa Gilbert started ‘Modern Prairie’ for women over 50


View this post on Instagram


A post shared by Melissa E. Gilbert (@melissagilbertofficial)

She hopes to show other women over 50 that they are not alone, that they are important, and that they can accomplish anything at any age. She also hopes her website will be a place for sisterhood and where women can share their stories without judgment with others who are going through similar life transitions. She wanted to tie Little House on the Prairie into the name because she admitted that the “‘Prairie’ legacy is in me all the time.”

LITTLE HOUSE ON THE PRAIRIE (1974-1983) Karen Grassle, Michael Landon, Melissa Sue Anderson, Melissa Gilbert & Lindsay Greenbush, Season 1

Everett Collection

Gilbert continued, “I actually think that every woman has a Laura Ingalls inside. That spirited, curious by the way, a big word, especially for women who are older, remaining curious is going to keep you young to have that curiosity and that sort of spunk and fire. I think we all have it and we have a tendency to tamp it down.” While Gilbert has shied away from Hollywood in recent years, she admitted that she would be open to a Little House on the Prairie project if the right one came along. She said, “I think there is a way to continue telling the story of Laura Ingalls Wilder and her life as an adult. No plans to do it yet, but I would consider that for sure.”

In the meantime, she lives with her husband Timothy Busfield on a farm in rural New York.

Visit Modern Prairie here.


Favorite TV Families
Want More?

Favorite TV Families

April 2019

Celebrate the best of the best of TV families!

Buy This Issue