Actor reveals what he wishes was different about kiss at 23 with 15-year-old co-star

Dean Butler

Little House on the Prairie actor would change one aspect of kiss (Picture: Bobby Bank/Getty Images)

Dean Butler and Melissa Gilbert were 23 and 15 respectively when they kissed on Little House on the Prairie, and the actor has expressed how he wishes it was different.

The 67-year-old believes the eight-year age gap detrimentally impacted their performance.

‘I’ve often said to Melissa, “I wish we could have been a little closer in age when we were doing this.” But that’s not the way it really happened,’ he shared.

‘I think that there was anxiety on both sides of that kiss and how is this going to go? But we stepped up to it.’

The pair starred on the NBC show from 1979 to its finale in 1983, as Almanzo and Laura, whose characters had a 10-year age gap.

They met in season six, episode Back to School (Part 1), and Dean recalled: ‘When I met Melissa, there was no sign of a woman there. She really was a little girl: bright, incredibly capable, spunky, vibrant, very extroverted.’

There was ‘anxiety’ around their first kiss (Picture: NBCU Photo Bank/NBCUniversal via Getty Images)

Their characters eventually married (Picture: NBCUniversal via Getty Images)

They shared their first kiss in Sweet Sixteen after growing closer when Almanzo drives Laura to an out-of-town teaching job.

He proposes in the next episode, but she declines due to her father’s request to wait until she is 18 to marry and Almanzo subsequently leaves town. However, they eventually wed and have children together.

Speaking to People at a 50th anniversary for the show, Dean added: ‘From the perspective of playing it, I thought, wouldn’t it be great if we could have [had] … a little more common ground, so we would’ve been able to play the loving side of this in perhaps a little bit more interesting way.’

He called their romance ‘beautiful, heartfelt and simple’ which resonated with audiences, and praised Melissa for doing the role ‘amazingly well’ with ‘how little life experience she had’ due to her age.

The nine seasons are still watched today (Picture: NBCU Photo Bank/NBCUniversal via Getty Images)

The TV show is based on children’s novels by Laura Ingalls Wilder, which are set in Minnesota. The show received 16 Emmy nominations, winning four, and three Golden Globe nods.

The nine seasons still attract viewers 50 years after the premiere, and Melissa, 59, has a theory on why.

‘It’s a reflection of all the things that people crave in life: family, community, love, faith, and hope,’ she explained.

Melissa with husband Timothy Busfield in 2020 (Picture: Roy Rochlin/Getty Images)

Melissa has a theory about why the show still resonates (Picture: NBCU Photo Bank/NBCUniversal via Getty Images via Getty Images)

‘It’s all the good juicy things that make human beings so wonderful and different from animals. I mean, that connection. And Little House is a reminder of that.’

She points out it wasn’t just a ‘cosy family show’ as they didn’t shy away from hard-hitting topics such as ‘the recession, coming home from Vietnam, chauvinism, equal rights for women, equal rights for people of colour, and antisemitism.’

‘We dealt with …read more

Source:: Metro


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