Melissa Gilbert got Botox, bought a convertible when her last marriage ended

So may women around my age are putting out memoirs this year: Viola Davis, Minnie Driver, Jennifer Grey. I’m going to pretend like my life was interesting enough for a memoir but I just haven’t had the time yet. The latest 50-something to release a memoir is Melissa Gilbert whose Back to the Prairie was released on Tuesday. This is Melissa’s third book, she released a children’s book in 2014 and an autobiography in 2009. When she wrote her autobiography, Melissa was still married to her second husband, Bruce Boxleitner. In this memoir, she talks about how she spiraled into a midlife crisis after she divorced Bruce in 2011. But I think I would’ve too. While they were still married, Melissa had her second spinal surgery to fix a broken back. The hospital called Bruce to pick her up. Remember, this was back surgery, not a minor procedure. Bruce asked if they, “could instead hire a car or ask a friend.” And later, on a trip to Hawaii, Melissa reached for his hand, and he pushed it away. Her two sons saw it and each took one of her hands to hold instead. That was when she realized she was the only caregiver in the relationship and divorced Bruce.

It took its toll emotionally and she ended up getting Botox, a dye-job and a convertible at the behest of her younger boyfriend. Looking back, she realizes she was trying to recapture something, but none of it was bringing her joy.

Melissa Gilbert admits that she had a mid-life crisis after her second marriage ended.

“I had Botox, fillers, recolored my hair, and bought a Mustang convertible at the urging of the inappropriately young French dude I began dating,” she writes in her latest book, “Back to the Prairie.”

The “Little House on the Prairie” star was married to “Babylon 5” actor Bruce Boxleitner from 1995 to 2011, and they share a son named Michael.

Gilbert confesses that she “moved way too fast” after the divorce, “trying to recapture the freedom I remembered from my youth.”

“As I discovered, being a single woman in your forties in Los Angeles is a whole different league of pressure,” she shares. “And being an actress looking for work in an industry obsessed with youth ratchets that up even further.”

“I reacted as many women I encountered did: I attempted to freeze everything in place.”

While competing in “Dancing with the Stars” in 2012, Gilbert writes that she was standing out on her patio when the roof suddenly collapsed, giving her a concussion. While recovering, she took the collapse as a message from above that her life was careening out of control.

“You’re driving a Mustang convertible. Your face doesn’t move. Your boobs are too big. You’re with the wrong guy. The list went on,” she wrote.

[From Page Six]

Be warned, the minute my children pack their suitcases for college, I am buying a Mustang convertible. I learned to drive in one and it’s been on my wish list since I bought my first “mom” car. Mock me all you want, but it will be in mine and I will call it things like “baby.” I can almost picture Melissa’s face when she saw what she’d become. I can picture it because I live in LA and I’ve seen my share of Botoxed, boobed and filled women who just got released from a marriage in which they were undervalued. And because many of us know that sensation of trying to recapture something but going about it the wrong way. It sounds like Melissa got her breasts done as well, but that may have been during her marriage. My guess is Bruce made her work for his affection and she probably took that energy into her breakup relationships. I don’t think what Melissa did was uncommon, but I think realizing she was going down the wrong path is uncommon. Thank goodness. With all of the critical medical intervention she’s had (four spinal surgeries!), she certainly doesn’t need to add unnecessary medical procedures on top of that.

Melissa’s happy ending takes place on a – wait for it – farm. Very soon after Melissa saw what she’d created with fillers and hair dye, she met Timothy Busfield, whom she married in 2013. They’ve settled in upstate New York in a house that they’ve renovated, much by themselves, and are growing vegetables, raising hens and all of Melissa’s previous plastic surgery has been undone (including her boobs). I realize that, also, is not too uncommon for 50-somethings with a few bucks, but in Melissa’s case, there’s some poetry there. Wonder if she still has the ‘stang?

This is Melissa in 2014 right after she announced her separation:

OMG – Melissa and Timothy are new parents! Meet Chicago Gilbert-Busfield:

Photo credit: InStar Photos, Avalon Red andInstagram

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26 Responses to “Melissa Gilbert got Botox, bought a convertible when her last marriage ended”

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  1. equality says:

    Wow. Didn’t realize Boxleitner was such a jerk.

  2. North of Boston says:

    I didn’t know she was with TB. Glad they found each other. Upstate NY seems like world’s away from Hollywood.

    Also bummer about BB he was a childhood crush of mine from reruns.

    RE the mustang… I’ve always loved the look of them and could imagine myself behind the wheel of one. Until I actually got behind the wheel of one … turns out that my combo of short legs and full breasts meant that in order to reach the pedals my chest pressed against the steering wheel. LOL! So it was a no go for me. (I’d heard of pedal blocks to get around the issue, but they didn’t fit the image I’d had of the Mustang driving experience). I’m having mid-life driving fun in a little Mazda … doesn’t have the nostalgia but does have the Zoom Zoom

    • geekish1 says:

      My daughter had a 1996 Mustang convertible. It was super powerful and weighed a ton. Cost a fortune to keep gassed up and had the mother of all oil leaks. We both loved it, but it just became too expensive to drive, too difficult to park, and basically a money pit. I’d do it all again tomorrow.

  3. Ang says:

    Great ending! They look really happy!
    I loved Little House (but I wanted to be Mary, not Laura).

  4. Lightpurple says:

    Can we talk about that gorgeous pup?

    • Barbie1 says:

      That puppy is to die for. Loved Melissa and her show as a kid. Wtf Bruce. Her sons holding her hands was amazing. Sad they had to see that though. Hoping the current husband is a keeper.

    • Giddy says:

      Yes! What excellent taste in dogs! That’s exactly what my goofball looked like when he joined our family.

  5. SarahCS says:

    Wow her ex husband sounds like a terrible person. I’m so happy for her that she caught the place she was in and able to do something about it.

    Here’s my mustang story. My first trip to the US was c.2006 with a friend when we were in our late 20’s. We were beyond excited when we looked at rental cars and realised we’d get a (convertible) mustang for our road trip around the Grand Canyon. Under ‘special requests’ in the booking form we put ‘can we have a red one please’. It was quite a road trip (we hadn’t realised quite how far/isolated a lot of that route is!) and we valet parked at the Bellagio when we got back to Vegas. Epic. Although I did discover that the whole going in through the window Dukes of Hazzard style is harder than it looks and I got stuck halfway. We were such idiots back then but we had so much fun.

    • kgeo says:

      LOL! I worked at a research center that always had a British liaison. Usually these were family guys, and they would just continue to sell this jeep cherokee to the incoming family. Well, my last year there, the new liaison was a young single guy, and he sold that jeep and bought a big brand new American muscle car. I can’t remember what it was, but it was so cute watching him enjoy that. He just thought, I’m going to be in America, better do it right.

  6. smcollins says:

    I’ll always have a soft spot for MG because of my childhood love of all things LHOTP. My one sister and I had little “prairie” dresses that we would dress up in and reenact episodes. A family member’s property had a big hill that we would trot down, singing the theme song as we went lol. I seem to recall BB was reportedly hesitant about them marrying, so I’m sadly not surprised about his coldness towards her. So glad she has found peace & happiness.

  7. EllenOlenska says:

    I say this with great love and affection for Melissa Gilbert ( jury is still out on Busfield- do some googling). It is wonderful she is able to embrace her true self….but does she still get parts? Most women will need to work to support themselves post divorce….don’t try that with grey hair in your fifties unless you’re still stick thin and gorgeous and even then, not in competitive industries. I know she ran SAG and did the touring revival of Little house….

    I’m glad she’s happy.

    • Josephine says:

      I feel like there was a story about how she was broke a few years ago, but it doesn’t sound like she’s trying to act at all these days so maybe I’m remembering that incorrectly. Hopefully she can fully retire and enjoy life although I can see Hollywood being happy to cast her as way older than she is. They love to give women the “mom” role to an actor that is a year or two younger than she is.

    • lucy2 says:

      Looks like she stopped around 2018 or so. It’s ridiculous to still be this way, but unless you’re super famous and in demand, best to save money for the future and/or start producing and getting behind the camera. Hollywood is still unkind to women.

      She looks so much happier now, wish her the best.

  8. Elizabeth Kerri Mahon says:

    She and BB broke up, I think, twice before they had a surprise wedding. He was definitely hesitant about getting married again, although I remember reading that his ex-wife was the one who introduced them.

  9. caitlin says:

    Refreshing that she had the confidence and will to get rid of the fillers, implants and botox. I’ve read a lot recently about the demand for “explanting” and breast implant illness. Wonder if this was part of it.

  10. Barrett says:

    I love MG from childhood. She looks just like her pretty, spunky self now. Let’s by her book and she can just live happily in Catskills!

  11. HeyKay says:

    I wish her comfort, and happiness.
    I’m 60, and I truly wish women to choose their own path, damn the naysayers.
    Years of a bad marriage, poverty, raising my kids after the divorce all took a hell of a toll on me.

    MG has worked since childhood, if she can financially afford to “retire and rebuild” more power to her!
    Forward into better days for everybody 😀

  12. TheFarmer'sWife says:

    May I suggest the Mustang Mach E as an alternative to the convertible? I’ve had a convertible, and while it was fun sometimes, it’s incredibly harsh on the hair and skin. Maybe it’s just me, but I could never get the headscarf and sunglasses to look ala Thelma and Louise. It was cold in the winter, and ate gas like I like pizza with extra cheese. Also, they tend to be low slung (like my chest now–what’s with the big boobs anyway? If I could, I’d get mine reduced, so my tops fit without gaping) and challenging to get out of with any sort of shoe other than a sneaker. I’m on the list for a Ford Lightning but am waiting for the standard size truck bed because a crew cab with a short box is useless on a farm.

    • BeanieBean says:

      I got the whole little red convertible thing out of my system early on. My first car was a red MGB. I found driving around with the top off just made my face grimy & gritty with road dirt, plus it was hot in the summers, blew my hair all over the place, and was generally a pain in the behind getting the top on & off. No thank you, never again.

  13. SpankyB says:

    Oh wow, Timothy Busfield. That’s a name I haven’t heard in awhile. They look happy together.

    I’m sad to learn Bruce is a douche. I’m not surprised though. He was a good looking guy making it in Hollywood, of course it went to his head.

  14. Emem says:

    How refreshing to see proper teeth! How I hate those plastic things that are blue under certain filming lights.

  15. Elizabeth says:

    I have driven Mustangs most of my life and would be hard pressed to buy different. First was a convertible (never again) and I finally upgraded to the lovely GT a few years ago. After test driving several options, chose 4.3L over 5.0. There was a big difference and the 4.3 was less loud and more suited to my female build. The gas usage is very moderate for a V8 engine and no engine problems at 75000miles.

    • BeanieBean says:

      I was given one as a rental in Honolulu a few years ago. I loved how when I opened the door, it cast a running horse-shaped light on the ground. What a nice touch! That’s really all I liked about it.

  16. Little Red says:

    Not surprised to read this about BB. He was a guest a sci-fi con many years ago, while he was fine on stage, in the autograph line, he barely interacted (didn’t really look up and greet the autograph seeker) with any of the attendees. He just kept talking with some person sitting next to him.

  17. JFerber says:

    I’m in love with little Chicago. That side-eye in the first pic captured my heart.