Little House on the Prairie

‘Little House on the Prairie’ Star Melissa Gilbert Shares Throwback Photo of a Young Sean Penn

Well, talk about a Throwback Thursday special. Little House on the Prairie star Melissa Gilbert offers up one with a young Sean Penn.

Gilbert who, of course, played Laura Ingalls on the NBC family drama, shared this snap on her Instagram account. It’s quite the picture with Penn along with actor Jimmy McNichol in a scene. Take a look right here.

Here’s the caption that goes along with the picture: “A very happy #tbt #throwbackthursday to you all! Today I bring you @seanpenn and @jimmy.mcnichol in a scene from #littlehouseontheprairie. Jimmy had a speaking role. Sean was a background actor. His father Leo, whom I adored, directed Little House. This picture is from the episode ‘The Voice of Tinker Jones’. In one sequence all the kids of #walnutgrove brought their metal toys to Tinker Jones, played wonderfully by Chuck McCann, to be melted down and made into a bell for the church/school.”

“It was hot on location that day. Really effing hot, and Leo insisted that the smelter be as authentic as possible,” Gilbert writes. “So it was extra hot standing near it. So much so, that two people fainted that day. @alisonarngrim and Sean. I, on the other hand, did not. Which means I’m tougher than Alison, which we all know.…and clearly, waaaaay tougher than Sean. I mean…I was….back then. Now? The jury’s out.”

In case you didn’t know, McCann was a star in the 1970s of a kid’s show titled Far Out Space Nuts with Gilligan’s Island star Bob Denver. McNichol is the brother of actress Kristy McNichol, known for her role in the 1970s ABC drama Family.

As for Penn, he’s gone on to be a well-known movie director and a fine actor in his own right. Little House on the Prairie starred Michael Landon.

‘Little House on the Prairie’ Star’s Grandfather Had Connection With Frank Sinatra

Sure, you could have connected the Little House on the Prairie star with many people in the world of show business. But Frank Sinatra? Well, not Melissa Gilbert herself but her grandfather did have one.

In another Instagram photo, she shows her grandfather Harry Crane along with Jimmy Durante, Peter Lawford, and Sinatra. He’s helping Sinatra work out a song with these three other show business stars.

Crane was a comic on the Borscht Belt circuit before his writing career hit it big. A git of classic TV trivia: It was Harry Crane who suggested an old TV company named DuMont in the 1950s hire a young comic for their Cavalcade of Stars show. His name? Jackie Gleason.

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