Paul Gilbert was an American film and television actor. Born in New York City as Ed MacMahon, Gilbert played various roles and appeared as himself from The Spike Jones Show in 1954 through Rowan & Martin's Laugh-In in 1973. Gilbert also appeared in other early television shows such as The NBC Comedy Hour, The Colgate Comedy Hour, Lux Video Theatre, Perry Mason, and The Dick Van Dyke Show.
Gilbert and his fourth wife Barbara Crane adopted Melissa Gilbert who played Laura Ingalls Wilder and Jonathan Gilbert who played Willie Oleson on the NBC TV series Little House on the Prairie. When Melissa was 8, they divorced. His ex-wife and children remained in San Fernando. He moved to nearby Encino but stayed an active father to Melissa and Jonathan, joining the family for holidays.