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Little House on the Prairie actress Melissa Gilbert has confirmed that she and her actor husband Bruce Boxleitner have decided to seek a divorce after 16 years of marriage.

Gilbert, 46, former president of the Screen Actors Guild, released a statement: “We have loved each other for a very long time and we share four incredible sons together. On behalf of our family we ask to be allowed our privacy during this very difficult time.”

Melissa appears in the popular television drama series Little House on the Prairie from 1974-1982. She was cast as Laura Ingalls Wilder.

The actress penned an autobiography Prairie Tale: A Memoir in 2009 and spoke candidly about her battle with alcoholism and drug abuse.

The couple have a 15-year-old son Michael. She also has a son Dakota, 21, and Tron star Boxleitner, 60, has two other sons, Holcomb, 30, and Lee, 25.

Family photos after the jump:

Photos: WENN