‘Little House on the Prairie’ Star Melissa Gilbert Dated Several Famous Hollywood Men Besides Rob Lowe and Tom Cruise

Actor Melissa Gilbert has been in the spotlight most of her life. She started doing commercials at the age of 2 and was cast in Little House on the Prairie when she was just 9 years old. Having grown up in the public eye, Gilbert dated some men who were also in the limelight at a young age.

While her relationship with Rob Lowe is well-documented, there are few other famous men Gilbert was romantically linked to that you may not have known about. Read on to find out who.

Melissa Gilbert speaking at the Build Series event in New York City
Melissa Gilbert speaking at the Build Series event in New York City | Roy Rochlin/Getty Images)

Melissa Gilbert’s relationships with high-profile men

Gilbert revealed on an episode of Watch What Happens Live with Andy Cohen that she dated Tom Cruise in the early ’80s. She said she was a teenager at the time and Cruise had just moved to Los Angeles.

Gilbert was also in an on-and-off relationship with Rob Lowe during the ’80s. The pair dated for several years but were unfaithful to each other when they were together.

In her autobiography, Gilbert admitted that she started seeing Frank Capra III while she was still with Lowe. “With Rob in Toronto, I began an on-set romance with the third AD, Frank Capra III,” she confessed. “Though it wasn’t intentional, I got a taste of what Rob went through on The Hotel New Hampshire, and he got a taste of what I experienced on the other end.”

Rob Lowe and Melissa Gilbert pose together at event 1987
Rob Lowe and Melissa Gilbert pose together at event 1987 | Donaldson Collection/Michael Ochs Archives/Getty Images

Gilbert dated rocker Billy Idol too and touched on that as well in her Prairie Tale memoir.

“My first thought was wow, he is gorgeous,” Gilbert wrote. “He impressed me as a sweet, gentle, and soft-spoken charmer… The tabloids had a field day trying to figure us out. In the public eye, we were the ultimate odd couple.”

After dating for a short time, Gilbert ended things revealing: “I never had any doubt it was more of an adventure than a long-term arrangement.”

Billy Idol and Melissa Gilbert outside Le Dome Restaurant together in 1986
Billy Idol and Melissa Gilbert outside Le Dome Restaurant together in 1986 | Ron Galella, Ltd./Ron Galella Collection via Getty Images

The actor also reportedly had a brief fling with Dylan McDermott in 1992.

Who she’s married to today

Gilbert has been married three times. Her first husband was producer and playwright Bo Brinkman, who is cousins with actors Randy Quaid and Dennis Quaid, according to IMDb. He and Gilbert have one child together. Their son, Dakota Brinkman, was born May 1, 1989. However, the marriage didn’t last and they divorced in 1992.

The star wed actor Bruce Boxleitner in 1995. That same year, they welcomed a son together and named him Michael Boxleitner after the late actor and Gibert’s Little House on the Prairie castmate Michael Landon. Gilbert filed for divorce from Boxleitner in 2011.

Timothy Busfield and Melissa Gilbert pose together at the Santa Barbara International Film Festival
Timothy Busfield and Melissa Gilbert | Rodin Eckenroth/Getty Images

On Jan. 29, 2013, Gilbert’s rep confirmed to People that she was engaged to Thirtysomething star Timothy Busfield. The couple tied the knot on April 24, 2013. “We work together as much as possible, and we really love it,” Gilbert told the Observer about their relationship. “We are constantly creating.”

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