Melissa Gilbert is best known for the role of Laura Ingalls Wilder on the beloved NBC TV series, The Little House on the Prairie. The world watched her grow up on the show alongside her co-star Melissa Sue Anderson. Though Gilbert obviously had her own family growing up in Hollywood (including sister Sara Gilbert and brother Jonathan Gilbert), at times it's hard to imagine her with a life outside of the prairie, being raised by Caroline (Karen Grassle) and Charles Ingalls (Michael Landon).
Gilbert turned into quite the young starlet, engaged in many high-profile relationships in her teens ranging from Tom Cruise to Rob Lowe. She even tragically revealed that she suffered a miscarriage after her public breakup from Lowe in Prairie Tale: A Memoir. Despite the trauma, Gilbert didn't let that stop her from starting a family of her own. Similar to how she continued acting in TV shows and films like Thicker than Water, Sylvester, Safe Harbour, Choices of the Heart, Babylon 5, Dancing With The Stars, and even serving as president of The Screen Actors Guild, she found love multiple times over and as a result, has her own children.
Currently married to actor Timothy Busfield, Gilbert obtained three stepchildren from her union with the thirtysomething star -- Samuel, Daisy, and Wilson Busfield. Though the couple briefly settled in Michigan, they are currently enjoying life in upstate New York and actively keep in touch with all of their children.
Here's a closer look at the four sons Gilbert raised prior to her marriage with Busfield.
Dakota Paul Brinkman
Born in 1989, Dakota is Gilbert's eldest biological son, her only child to come from her four-year marriage to Bo Brinkman. Married to his wife Marissa, Dakota is expecting his first child this June!
Born in 1995, son Michael Garrett came from Gilbert's second marriage to Bruce Boxleitner. Named for Michael Landon, he joined his two older siblings from Bruce's first marriage, Sam and Lee. Despite being stepchildren, Gilbert became incredibly close with the two boys during her 16-year marriage to Bruce and remains actively involved in their lives.
Sam, born in 1980, is Gilbert's oldest stepson. He ended up becoming an actor as well, known for roles in films like The Badger Game and When Vows Break.
Lee, born in 1985, went on to work in Hollywood like his brother and parents. Though he's had a few acting roles, he's mostly known for his work in the sound department as a boom operator. He's worked on a total of 28 films including Casa Vita, How Not to Propose, Letter Never Sent, Romantically Speaking and more.