- Her grandfather Harry Crane wrote for the classic 1950s sitcom The Honeymooners.
- Began appearing in TV commercials at age 3.
- At age 9, beat out more than 500 girls for the role of Laura Ingalls Wilder on Little House on the Prairie.
- Met first husband, Bo Brinkman, on a blind date and married him within two months.
- In 1985, became one of the youngest actresses to receive a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame.
- In 2001, became the third woman to serve as the President of the Screen Actors Guild.
- Performed for months with a broken back while on tour for the Little House on the Prairie musical in 2010.
- Is an honorary board member for the Children's Hospice and Palliative Care Coalition, which provides children with life-threatening conditions access to the care and emotional support they need.
- 1981, Golden Globe — Best Performance by an Actress in a Television Series - Drama: Nominee
- 1980, Emmy — Outstanding Lead Actress in a Limited Series or a Special: Nominee
- Bo Brinkman — Ex-husband
- Harry Crane — Grandfather
- Paul Gilbert — Father
- Sara Gilbert — Half Sister
- Dakota Paul Brinkman — Son
- Bruce Boxleitner — Ex-husband
- Michael Garrett Boxleitner — Son
- Julia Crane — Grandmother
- Barbara Crane — Mother
- Michael Landon Jr. — Ex-significant Other
- Rob Lowe — Ex-fiancé
- Jonathan Gilbert — Brother
- Charlie Brill — Godparent
- Timothy Busfield — Husband
- Daisy Busfield — Stepdaughter
- Willy Busfield — Stepson
- Samuel Busfield — Stepson
- Attended University of Southern California, Los Angeles, CA
- Birth Name: Melissa Ellen Gilbert
- Birth Place: Los Angeles, CA
- Profession: Actor, Director, Producer
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