Little House on the Prairie

‘Little House on the Prairie’ Star Melissa Gilbert Reveals How Her Husband Helped Her Write ‘Back to the Prairie’

“Little House on the Prairie” star Melissa Gilbert released her new memoir today, which features a thoughtful foreword written by her husband, Timothy Busfield.

Gilbert married actor and director Timothy Busfield back in 2013. Now, nearly a decade later, he’s helped her find the inspiration to write a new memoir, “Back to the Prairie: A Home Remade, a Life Rediscovered.” The memoir details how the classic TV star returned to nature in the last few years after spending so much time in Hollywood.

Earlier this week, Melissa Gilbert sat down with Smashing Interviews Magazine to talk about her book and the influence her husband had on it. Apparently, in addition to him writing the foreword, Gilbert also used his help “for a myriad of different reasons.”

“I wanted to make sure that I was getting things right, and I wanted to make sure that I got the dates right,” Gilbert explained. “Then I wanted to make sure that he was comfortable with some of the things I was writing. But he’s such an open book that he never said, ‘No. I don’t want you to tell that story.’ Generally speaking, I got it all pretty accurate date-wise.”

She added, “He’s nothing but supportive.”

The book explains how Melissa Gilbert’s husband introduced her to the “wilds of rural Michigan,” which would eventually lead the couple to the Catskills. Gilbert and Busfield now live in the New York mountains in a fixed-up cabin. The two grow their own food and raise chickens there.

‘Little House on the Prairie’ Star Melissa Gilbert Reveals ‘Greatest Things’ Her Husband Has Told Her

Ever since Melissa Gilbert married her husband Timothy Busfield in 2013, she’s been able to slow down and appreciate life more. In a recent interview with PEOPLE, Gilbert revealed what one of the “greatest things” Busfield ever said to her was.

“One of the greatest things Tim did was tell me [was], ‘If you don’t want to, you don’t have to,’” she said. “And that’s a really big deal for a kid actor because nobody ever told me that. It was, ‘I don’t care if you don’t want to, you’ve got to.’”

Gilbert finally learned to embrace her own choices and desires, rather than catering to everyone else’s. When she and Busfield moved out to Michigan, she could finally forget about the expectations of everyone else.

“I grew up in an industry that values the outside considerably more than the inside,” Gilbert told PEOPLE. “And I was caught in that wheel of trying to stay young. I finally woke up and went, ‘What am I doing? I look like a carrot top, and I’m not happy.’”

She stopped using plastic surgery and red hair dye, instead embracing her natural looks. “I was always trying too hard to fit the mold that someone else wanted,” Gilbert said. “I’m finally happy in my own skin. I’m so grateful and relieved and so much happier.”

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