Little House on the Prairie star Melissa Gilbert's controversial first kiss with Dean Butler, 23, when she was just 15 was interrupted by her sobbing mother: 'She couldn't bear seeing it'

Little House on the Prairie star Melissa Gilbert's first onscreen kiss was cut short by her mother.

The legendary actress, now 60, who played Laura Ingalls on the 1974-1983 series, was filming a romantic scene with her TV husband Dean Butler, now 67, when her mother, Barbara Abeles, began sobbing near the set.

The emotional outburst led to such a disturbance that Michael Landon, the show’s leading actor and director, had to abruptly halt filming with a shout of 'cut.'

'It was totally unexpected. This kind of outburst just didn’t happen on our set,' Dean writes in his new memoir Prairie Man: My Little House Life & Beyond.

The tears erupted, in part, due to Barbara not approving of Dean's casting as Almanzo Wilder, as he was 23 at the time, while Melissa had just turned 15.

Little House on the Prairie star Melissa Gilbert's first onscreen kiss was cut short by her mother; pictured 2023

Little House on the Prairie star Melissa Gilbert's first onscreen kiss was cut short by her mother; pictured 2023

The legendary actress, now 60, who played Laura Ingalls on the 1974-1983 series, was filming a romantic scene with her TV husband Dean Butler, now 67, when her mother, Barbara Abeles, began sobbing near the set

The legendary actress, now 60, who played Laura Ingalls on the 1974-1983 series, was filming a romantic scene with her TV husband Dean Butler, now 67, when her mother, Barbara Abeles, began sobbing near the set

'Her unhappiness culminated, perhaps, in not being able to bear seeing me kiss her daughter. It was a protective displeasure,' Dean writes.

'Today that eight-year-difference between us is a tiny gap, but 45 years ago, it was the Grand Canyon.'

In the tome, Dean reveals that he and Melissa remained close after the show and she had previously spoke about being uncomfortable over the kiss.

'You were a man, a grown-up man with a car and an apartment,' he recalled Melissa confiding in him. 'I was a really young teenager … I was still wearing Mary Janes … I wasn’t allowed to shave my legs and I’d never even been on a date.'

She also told Dean that she 'just wasn’t ready to have that kind of physical contact with anybody.'

Almanzo Wilder met Laura Ingalls in the season 6 episode 'Back to School (Part 1)' and they would share their first kiss on the episode 'Sweet Sixteen.'

'When I met Melissa in "Back to School," there was no sign of a woman there,' Butler explained to People in April. 'She really was a little girl: bright, incredibly capable, spunky, vibrant, very extroverted,' he said.

'Now, I don't know how much more of a woman there was there at the end, but she was being asked to go there at the end of that season. And I think she did it amazingly well when you look at how little life experience she had.

Butler discussed the 'anxiety' they both felt before filming the kiss.

'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,' he said.

Butler went on to state that the love angle was 'heartfelt' and 'simple' which is why it has resonated with many people.

'I think that's one of the reasons why people continue to love this, because it gives you this idyllic view of what a romance could be, what young love could be.'

The emotional outburst led to such a disturbance that Michael Landon, the show¿s leading actor and director, had to abruptly halt filming with a shout of 'cut'

The emotional outburst led to such a disturbance that Michael Landon, the show’s leading actor and director, had to abruptly halt filming with a shout of 'cut'

'It was totally unexpected. This kind of outburst just didn¿t happen on our set,' Dean writes in his new memoir Prairie Man: My Little House Life & Beyond; seen in 2017

'It was totally unexpected. This kind of outburst just didn’t happen on our set,' Dean writes in his new memoir Prairie Man: My Little House Life & Beyond; seen in 2017

'I've often said to Melissa,

'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 told People; they are seen in a still

'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 added

'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 added

'When I met Melissa in

'When I met Melissa in "Back to School," there was no sign of a woman there,' Butler explained, adding, 'I think she did it amazingly well when you look at how little life experience she had'; (Top L-R) Matthew Laborteaux, Gilbert, Michael Landon, Butler, Melissa Sue Anderson, Linwood Boomer, (Bottom L-R) Karen Grassle, Lindsay Greenbush

The duo starred on the show from from 1979 to 1983; (L-R) Gilbert, Landon, Grassle, Anderson, and Greenbush seen in a still

The duo starred on the show from from 1979 to 1983; (L-R) Gilbert, Landon, Grassle, Anderson, and Greenbush seen in a still

In March Butler told the U.S. Sun of the age gap casting: 'I don't know that you could make that today. Melissa and I have talked about this a lot over the years. You couldn't do that casting'; Gilbert seen with husband Timothy Busfield in 2020

In March Butler told the U.S. Sun of the age gap casting: 'I don't know that you could make that today. Melissa and I have talked about this a lot over the years. You couldn't do that casting'; Gilbert seen with husband Timothy Busfield in 2020

[video_shortcode_video_html_5 src="https://videos.dailymail.co.uk/video/mol/2021/11/15/3643283939392994101/1024x576_MP4_3643283939392994101.mp4" itemprop="image" content="https://videos.dailymail.co.uk/video/mol/2021/11/15/3643283939392994101/1024x576_MP4_3643283939392994101.mp4" data-src="https://videos.dailymail.co.uk/video/mol/2021/11/15/3643283939392994101/1024x576_MP4_3643283939392994101.mp4"]

'Because the audience loved her [Laura] so much … If she'd chosen this guy, then this guy must be really good. And so I got the benefit of a lot of all of that. The audience just came right with me, because she did.'

In February, Butler told the U.S. Sun of the kiss: 'If it had not been handled the way Michael (Landon) had envisioned it being handled, it could have been a very dicey situation with the age difference and the size difference.'

'I don't know that you could make that today. Melissa and I have talked about this a lot over the years. You couldn't do that casting.'

'There'd never been a casting like that before, and there's never been a casting like ours since. And you absolutely could never do it today. That would be impossible. And it would be appropriate that you couldn't do it today.'

The same month, a Little House On The Prairie reunion happened on Good Morning America.

Gilbert, Karen Grassle (Laura's mother Caroline) and Alison Arngrim (Laura's nemesis, Nellie Oleson) were all side by side to look back fondly on the TV series.

The ladies are shocked it has already been 50 years. 'It's overwhelming, actually,' Gilbert shared.

'I'm remembering so much, and so much of my childhood and so many wonderful experiences and emotional experiences attached to all of these people.'

Grassle added, 'People are finding values, comfort and a message that they long for,' she said. 'And I think, you know, it's just simple human decency.'

Last month there was a Little House On The Prairie reunion on Good Morning America. Gilbert, Grassle (Laura's mother Caroline) and Alison Arngrim (Laura's nemesis, Nellie Oleson) were all side by side to look back fondly on the TV series

Last month there was a Little House On The Prairie reunion on Good Morning America. Gilbert, Grassle (Laura's mother Caroline) and Alison Arngrim (Laura's nemesis, Nellie Oleson) were all side by side to look back fondly on the TV series

[video_shortcode_video_html_5 src="https://videos.dailymail.co.uk/video/mol/2021/11/15/3643283939392994101/1024x576_MP4_3643283939392994101.mp4" itemprop="image" content="https://videos.dailymail.co.uk/video/mol/2021/11/15/3643283939392994101/1024x576_MP4_3643283939392994101.mp4" data-src="https://videos.dailymail.co.uk/video/mol/2021/11/15/3643283939392994101/1024x576_MP4_3643283939392994101.mp4"]

And Arngrim added that the show's continued popularity is 'absolutely mind-blowing' to her.

They also remembered the film's star, writer, producer and director Michael Landon, who died in 1991 at the age of 54.

Gilbert called Landon 'magnetic,' saying he 'drew me in but he also played with me right away.'

'Our relationship immediately became parental,' she continued. 'But he treated us when he worked with us like contemporaries, not like kids.'

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