Little House on the Prairie

‘Little House on the Prairie’ Star Melissa Gilbert Talks Embracing Aging: ‘I Love All These Changes’

It’s been 40 years since the series finale of Little House on the Prairie aired, putting Melissa Gilbert’s role as Laura Ingalls Wilder on the classic TV show behind her. The actress, however, never quite grew out of her love for nature and slow living, and now lives in the Catskills Mountains with her husband, Tim Busfield.

In her latest book, Back to the Prairie, the Little House star says that she used to buy into the Hollywood image, thanks to her “young French” boyfriend. “I had botox, fillers, recolored my hair, and bought a Mustang convertible at the urging of the inappropriately young French dude I began dating,” she wrote.

Now, however, Melissa Gilbert feels that aging is a gift, not a curse, and has put the Hollywood mindset behind her. Though she’s no longer the pig-tailed, freckle-faced little girl from Little House on the Prairie and is now nearing her 60s, Melissa Gilbert actually says she loves aging! In an interview with Good Morning America, the classic TV star explained her unusual frame of mind.

Rather than staying in Hollywood, where aging is a sin and botox is an everyday procedure, Gilbert moved to the mountains to age gracefully. “I had to get out of Los Angeles to actually age, which I wanted to do,” Gilbert explained. “I’m excited about this. I love all these changes and watching what’s happening and getting to know this new person.”

According to Melissa Gilbert, her life in the upstate is superior to her life in Hollywood because it’s “sweeter, simpler, and more comfortable.”

‘Little House on the Prairie’ Star Melissa Gilbert Describes Married Life With Tim Busfield

Melissa Gilbert’s laidback life in the cabin in the Catskills Mountains is made sweeter by her loving relationship with her husband, Tim Busfield. As Busfield is Melissa Gilbert’s third husband, and vice versa, the couple knew exactly what they wanted in a partner before committing to each other. And it was that self-awareness that created a thus far magical marriage.

“I think we were both craving just a more peaceful partnership or [to] be alone,” Gilbert recalled. “We’re just very much equals and we treat each other that way, and I think that’s what makes the difference. He’s my blanket. He’s my comfort place.”

In addition to the comfort their relationship provides, Melissa Gilbert and her husband also know how to keep each other entertained. “We laugh all day long. We constantly crack each other up,” Gilbert said. “He’s one of the funniest people I know. I mean, he will walk into a door just to make me laugh.”

Thanks to Melissa Gilbert, Tim Busfield is now “completely hooked” on Little House on the Prairie, and even calls his wife “Half-Pint,” her character’s nickname, now and then.

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