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Born and raised in Los Angeles, Melissa began her career as a child actress in the late 1960s appearing in numerous commercials and guest roles in television.  In 1974 she began a 10-year run of starring as Laura Ingalls on the NBC series “Little House on the Prairie”.  During that run, she also appeared in several popular television movies including the award-winning “The Diary of Anne Frank” and “The Miracle Worker”.  After “Little House”, Melissa continued to work in front and behind the camera regularly and for all her contributions to the television industry, received a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame.  Her most recent credits include turns on stage both regionally and Off-Broadway.

Melissa served as the President of the Screen Actors Guild for two terms.

In 2015, Melissa announced her campaign for Michigan’s 8th congressional district, but had to drop out due to health issues.

Melissa currently lives with her husband, actor Timothy Busfield, in upstate New York.

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