Saturday, February 19, 2011

Willie Oleson from Little House on the Prairie played by Jonathan Gilbert

Jonathan Gilbert was born April 28, 1967.  His claim to fame is playing the role of Willie Oleson, part of the sibling duo that served as the nemesis for Laura Ingalls and her sisters on the TV series Little House on the Prairie.


Jonathan Gilbert as Willie Oleson on the TV show Little House on the Prairie

Jonathan made his acting debut playing the role of Willie Oleson on the TV show Little House on the Prairie in 1974.  He co-starred with Melissa Sue Gilbert (Laura Ingalls), 
Michael Landon (Charles Ingalls), Karen Grassle (Caroline Ingalls), Melissa Sue Anderson (Mary Ingalls), Lindsay and Sidney Greenbush (Carrie Ingalls), Alison Arngrim (Nellie Oleson),  Victor French (Isaiah Edwards), and Merlin Olsen (Jonathan Garvey).   Actress Melissa Gilbert who played Laura Ingalls, was in real life Jonathan Gilbert's sister through adoption.  


Jonathan played the role for the full run of Little House and then some.  He was one of the few stars to appear in most of the series as well as the TV movie specials Little House: Look Back to Yesterday (1983) and Little House: The Last Farewell co-starring  Melissa Gilbert, Michael Landon, Karen Grassle, Dean Butler, Victor French, Richard Bull, Allison Balson, Kevin Hagen, Shannen Doherty, and Leslie Landon (1984).


Jonathan Gilbert as Willie Oleson on the TV show Little House on the Prairie

During his run on Little House on the Prairie,in 1979 Jonathan starred as Jimmy in The Miracle Worker co-starring Patty Duke, Diana Muldaur, Charles Siebert, Anne Seymour, and Melissa Gilbert.

Jonathan Gilbert in the later years as Willie Oleson on the TV show Little House on the Prairie
Melissa Gilbert and Jonathan Gilbert, off screen siblings from the TV show Little House on the Prairie
Jonathan Gilbert as Willie Oleson on the TV show Little House on the Prairie


Jonathan retired from acting and went on to graduate from college earning an MBA in Finance.  He now works as a stock broker.


Jonathan Gilbert, formerly Willie Oleson of Little House on the Prairie is a stock broker today


35 comments:

  1. He is fine as hell.

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  2. Wow, he looks different, but very nice looking! I wouldn't have recognized him for sure...

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  3. Does Jonathan get along with his sister's? Is it true Melissa hasn't seen him in years? We hear about Melissa and sara but nothing on Jonathan. Why?

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    1. According to Melissa Gilbert's memoir, he left when he turned eighteen and never looked back.

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  4. I thought he was Tony Danza. LOL! Handsome devil!

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  5. He looks so flipping different, but he also looks older than Melissa and Sara. He looks very handsome though. I think he and his two sisters still see each other. I don't think they had a falling out. They're probably just busy.

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    1. According to Melissa, last month on The Today Show LHOTP Reunion, they haven't had a relationship at all since he left, and she doesn't know why.

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    2. Well people change some look older than they really are

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  6. I am glad to finally hear what he is doing now. It was as if he fell off the face of the earth. I loved his character, and glad he is well.

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  7. Turned out to be a VERY nice looking young man...and intelligent to boot!!

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  8. Good lord he looks old, yikes, he was so cute!

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  9. wow. to say YIKES! he look OLD how disrespectful but your opinion is i guess how your feeling thank god MAJORITY just agree as i for once a big shock,the GREY PRETTY ANDERSON COOPER SEXI HAIR ON A MAN UNDER FIFTY IS SO HOT TO ME.

    and he is still a VERY great-lookin'man,i knew he was only early forties
    so NOT OLD,born 67,not old at all,and just OLDER,not old man.and he is so great looking,i look AT THE OLD CLASSIC EPISODE, and i love how he was a cute bad azz lil boy ,but VERY kute teen with albert ingalls.

    i had no idea, he was melissa adopted bro,and sara gilbert,wow.that is
    SO INTERESTING,god bless them, all and i love he is doing well healthy
    and pray 1 day,we see him in film or tv again,if not he is happy and
    that is ALL THAT MATTER,And living by GOD's way,always,the RIGHT way
    will always smile laugh watch DAILY sometime late night LIL HOUSE on HALLMARK,and DVR, great great great show.all around,love willie oleson
    and glad HE is doing well.


    from
    Geena Romano
    NJ tri-state.
    Staten Island,NY

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    1. He was always my favorite. He is a beautiful person...

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  10. Wow! Would never have regonized him....not one bit. He sure has changed. He is handsome but looks nothing like he did as a kid.

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  11. What a great looking guy, I remember watching the show back in Mexico, like 35 years ago, gosh!!!

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  12. Well, seriously, "white hair" desn't exactly make you look "young". He looks distinguished, okay, young, no!

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  13. I read Melissa Gilbert's "Prairie Tale" book, and Melissa writes that when he turned 18, he left home and NEVER spoke to her ever again- and that was almost 30 years ago. I know they are both adopted, etc. Sounds like something REALLY BAD happened between them. A guy doesn't just leave home and NEVER speaks to his sister again. I wonder what the truth is? I wonder if he speaks to Sara Gilbert or his adopted mother at all.

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    1. I met Melissa and she in my opinion is not a nice person,. I used to work for the Guild when she was "president." She also dressed pretty slutty honestly. She really seemed to be full of herself which is disappointing since I loved watching Little House on the Prairie. Sara on the other hand seems very nice. very shy though....

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  14. I thought he was Rahm Emanual.

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  15. Wow....she looks dang good

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  16. Wow I can not believe how well he turn out to be so handsome like he did because I can remember him on Little House on the Prairie as willie Oleson. He was so young and always getting trouble in school or at home with his mother known as Mrs Oleson or sister known as Nellie Oleson. I guess he found his calling and he look happy but I will always remember him as Willie from The Little House on the Prairie.

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  17. I am glad to see he survived the whole child star thing and did well for himself! He definitely could do acting again with those looks!

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  18. at least he didn't ruin his face like his sister did.

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  19. I'm sick of Willie

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  20. Think about this. Being adopted. Having two sisters that are adopted. All of you pushed into acting for your entire childhood. Used as money makers, not children. Wouln't you leave at 18 and never look back ?

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    1. Sara wasn't adopted........mother had her after Paul Gilbert died and she remarried.
      She' the natural maternal child.

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  21. I still watch Little House on the Prairie now, many of us do in north Wales UK. Little Willie Oleson always stealing sweets from the jar at his father's store and getting into trouble at school, a great character, We don't realise that these child actors have a very different life outside the script. He must have left his family as soon as the series ended. I wish him all the best.

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  22. I did not know they were brother and sister in real life and didn't know she was adopted and he was too. I have probably seen every episode of Little House on the Prairie I haven't watched it in years; I think cause I seen them all. Mrs. Olson was my favorite and my fav scene was when she was in the kitchen of the restaurant she owned and asked Nellie to tighten her corset strings b/c her dress was too small and Nellie put her foot on her back pulling on the strings and they broke and she goes flying out into the dining room onto a table guests were eating at and took a table cloth to wrap around her and she darts across the street to her house that was hysterical! They just don't make shows like that anymore and they should! I'm not surprised that Melissa Gilbert is full of herself she isn't that pretty and she had her teeth capped you can tell her teeth used to not look so good. Probably why she is on her third marriage now with an attitude like that!

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  23. Wow he's very handsome! I always had a little crush on him back then!

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  24. Very good looking man, indeed. I always loved Willie, especially in the later years when he was a teenager & Laura was their teacher. My brother and I were both adopted. We grew up with the same parents but do not share the same biological parents. He was six years older than me, and we never really hit it off as brother and sister. I wonder if Melissa Gilbert is close to her adoptive mother's biological daughter, Sara Gilbert, who played Darlene on "Roseanne" and now co-hosts The Talk?

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  25. It's the gray hair that makes him look so much older.

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