Melissa Gilbert Says She Had “Trauma” Leaving The “Little House” Set

CBS Sunday Morning / Youtube

Melissa Gilbert was just nine years old when she was cast as Laura Ingalls Wilder, the starring role on Little House on the Prairie.

Gilbert recalls her time on set fondly, starting with her audition. She got the chance to read with the show’s star Michael Landon and felt a caring connection with him instantly. In her memoir, Prairie TaleGilbert says of Landon, “He gave off a different kind of energy than ordinary people. It was a higher wattage.”

One of the many reasons Gilbert loved her time on the Prairie set was the close-knit, happy, family-like environment. While her parents were loving, her home life was actually tumultuous. Gilbert says she was encouraged not to show emotion at home. This definitely wasn’t the case while filming Little House on the Prairie.

The toughest part of filming Little House? Going home, according to Gilbert.

The only trauma on the Little House set came at the end of January, almost four weeks after we began shooting when it was time to pack up and say good-bye,” Gilbert writes. “I had a hard time returning home.”

At the end of filming, Gilbert said, “I missed the work and the affirmation that came from it. I especially missed the attachments I’d made to people, and I was down in the dumps whenever I imagined not seeing them again.

Check out Gilbert’s audition with Landon below.

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