How Melissa Gilbert Would Sneak Rob Lowe Into Her Bedroom Window Almost Every Night

Little House on the Prairie star Melissa Gilbert started dating Rob Lowe when she was 17. She still lived at home with her mother and siblings. So when the actors wanted some alone time, they had to get creative.

Melissa Gilbert and Rob Lowe
Melissa Gilbert and Rob Lowe | The LIFE Picture Collection via Getty Images

Melissa Gilbert used to sneak out of the house and drive to Malibu to meet Rob Lowe

When Gilbert and Lowe first started dating, the Little House star would sneak out of her mom’s house at night to drive to Malibu in order to meet up with her boyfriend in secret. But Lowe was worried for Gilbert’s safety (the road to Malibu is a winding one), and Gilbert worried about getting caught by her mother.

“Having experienced her anger and the punishment that sometimes ensued, I didn’t want to risk it,” wrote Gilbert in her memoir, Prairie Tale. “My biggest fear was that she would catch me doing something and forbid me to see Rob.”

Rob Lowe began sneaking into Melissa Gilbert’s bedroom window at night

So the actors came up with a new plan.

“We devised a system where Rob would come for dinner pretty much every night,” wrote Gilbert. “Then he would say good night, I’d walk him to the front door, and he would back out of the driveway and park down the street, where he would sit in his car for thirty or forty minutes. I would excuse myself to go to my room and watch TV in bed. In the meantime, I would be listening for a rustling outside my window.”

Rob Lowe and Melissa Gilbert
Rob Lowe and Melissa Gilbert | Donaldson Collection/Michael Ochs Archives/Getty Images

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Lowe would climb up the ivy covering the wall under Gilbert’s bedroom window.

“It was sneaky and forbidden and delicious,” wrote Gilbert. “No one ever really came to my room after I said good night, but the few times my mom did knock on my door, Rob scrambled into the bathroom or the closet.”

The night Rob was invited to stay

Gilbert and Lowe thought no one knew about their little arrangement. But, one night, about six months after the Brat Packer first began shimmying up Gilbert’s wall, the Little House actor’s grandmother came to stay with the children while their mother was away.

Rob Lowe and Melissa Gilbert | Vinnie Zuffante/Michael Ochs Archives/Getty Images

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As per usual, Lowe had dinner with the family and then said his goodbyes.

“Robbie, don’t be silly,” said Gilbert’s grandmother. “I know you’re just going to drive down the driveway, park your car, and climb in Melissa’s window. You should stay here. I like the idea of having a man in the house.”

Then, to Gilbert: “And so do you.”