Actor Discusses Scene Deemed Controversial

Hello everyone, today, we’re diving into the fascinating world of “Little House on the Prairie,” and a specific storyline that still raises eyebrows today. Picture this: Dean Butler, the actor who brought Almanzo Wilder to life, faced a unique challenge that caused him a lot of anxiety. He was 23 years old when he had to give his co-star, 15-year-old Melissa Gilbert, her first on-screen and real-life kiss. Yes, you heard that right!

Dean Butler recently opened up about this experience in his memoir, “Prairie Man.” He shares all about his rise to stardom and that controversial age-gap scene. In an interview with Fox News Digital, Butler reflected on the scene, saying, “You just couldn’t do it today. There would be way too much blowback.” He acknowledged that the scene was handled tastefully back then, which helped mitigate the potential backlash.

For those unfamiliar with “Little House on the Prairie,” it was a beloved TV show that aired from 1974 to 1983. Butler played Almanzo Wilder, the love interest of Laura Ingalls, portrayed by Melissa Gilbert. When Butler joined the cast, Gilbert was “a young 15,” and the age difference was something the audience had to accept.

Butler recalled how sophisticated Gilbert was in the ways of the industry despite her young age. She was a skilled actress but inexperienced in other aspects of life, which made the scene even more challenging for her. “She was very sophisticated in the ways of the industry. As an actress, she was very skilled. But as a young woman, she was very inexperienced,” Butler shared.

The original book series depicted a 10-year age difference between the characters, which translated to the show. Gilbert trusted her TV dad, Michael Landon, who carefully supervised the scene. Butler emphasized the trust Gilbert had in Landon, saying, “When Michael said, ‘This is the guy for you,’ she was prepared to suspend all of her anxieties and just step into it.”

The episode titled “Sweet Sixteen” featured their first kiss, a moment that was both nerve-wracking and memorable for both actors. Nearly 100 people surrounded them on set, but it was Gilbert’s mother who burst into tears, showcasing the protective nature she had over her daughter.

Butler’s memoir also sheds light on the mixed reactions from viewers. While some were concerned about the age difference, others understood the spirit of the show. Butler reflected on how the show’s fans accepted the storyline, saying, “People who knew the material well, who read the books, knew there was a 10-year difference between Laura Ingalls and Almanzo Wilder when they got married.”

Melissa Gilbert also shared her perspective in her memoir, expressing her initial discomfort. She was a young teenager, not ready for such a role, but she trusted the process and Butler. Their relationship today is one of mutual respect, bonded by their shared experiences on the show.

Today, Butler receives different feedback from fans who now admit he was their first crush. He finds it incredibly flattering and humbling, taking that role in their lives very seriously.

So, there you have it, folks. A peek into the world of “Little House on the Prairie” and the challenges faced by its stars. It’s a testament to the trust, respect, and professionalism that brought those beloved characters to life. Stay tuned for more fascinating stories from the entertainment world!

Fox News


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