Melissa Gilbert was cast in Little house on the Prairie when she was simply 9 year old. The young actor thrived up alongside she character, Laura Ingalls. Yet not constantly at the same time. Sometimes, Laura walk something or feeling something in an illustration of Little house that Gilbert had actually yet to experience. In her memoir, Prairie Tale, Gilbert recalls just that continue in the “The Love of Johnny Johnson” episode.




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Melissa Sue Anderson and also Melissa Gilbert | NBCU photo Bank

Melissa Gilbert couldn’t relate to Laura Ingalls in the ‘The Love of Johnny Johnson’ episode of ‘Little home on the Prairie’

In “The Love the Johnny Johnson,” Laura develops a crush on an older student by the surname of Johnny Johnson. Yet Johnny is smitten with Laura’s larger sister, mar — though mary doesn’t re-publishing his feelings. In she memoir, Gilbert wrote that anytime she had to portray Laura as having actually a crush on a boy in the at an early stage years that the show, she’d just mimic what she’d watched on The Partridge household and The Brady Bunch because she hadn’t experienced those feelings it s her yet.

Melissa Gilbert couldn’t cry about having an unrequited to like on Johnny Johnson

At the finish of the episode, Laura has a heart to heart with her father around her unrequited crush. Charles speak her the it won’t be long until boys start taking a liking come her, just as they do with Mary. In the scene, Laura is claimed to get emotional and cry. But Gilbert had actually trouble accessing those emotions since she herself had never felt what Laura to be feeling.

“Sometimes the was difficult for me to gain to those emotions, and also this illustration was one of those times,” wrote Gilbert. “Putting myself in Laura’s pair of shoes didn’t work. Nor did dragging increase some kind of awful memory from the Dungeon. So Mike assisted me.”




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Landon got Gilbert come cry utilizing a “technique” that he employed many times transparent filming.

“He placed his arm around me and walked united state away indigenous the set, off to the side whereby we can be alone,” she wrote. “And in the time it took to walk fifteen to twenty feet, he got himself crying. Then he turned to me and also with tears rolling under his face, he said, ‘Do you have any kind of idea how much ns love you?’”

Like a charm, Landon’s join of love v tears in his eyes turned the waterworks on for Gilbert.

There was one actual facet that ‘The Love the Johnny Johnson’ for the Laura Ingalls actor


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Though Gilbert faked her method through the crush part of the episode, there was one element of “The Love that Johnny Johnson” the came much more naturally for the young actor — the rivalry in between Laura and also Mary. Gilbert and Melissa Sue Anderson never hit the off throughout their time functioning together. They were not friends. Their relationship even bordered top top tense, according to Gilbert. For this reason the scenes whereby Laura and also Mary don’t view eye to eye in “The Love the Johnny Johnson,” were straightforward for Gilbert to act out.

“The on-screen rivalry between Mary and Laura in that illustration played turn off of the competitiveness that existed off camera in between Melissa Sue Anderson and also me,” she wrote. “When we snapped at every other, it was fairly real.”