Dakota Brinkman- Melissa Gilbert’s Son

Who is Dakota Brinkman?

Dakota Brinkman is an American actor who is more popular because of his parents. This is because Dakota is the son of the Hollywood superstar Melissa Gilbert and famous actor Bo Brinkman.

Dakota Brinkman came to the media attention since his birth. The reason was he was the eldest son of the two famous Hollywood stars.

Dakota also followed the footsteps of his parents and entered the Hollywood industry. But did you know that Dakota was only eight years old when he appeared in his first movie?

However, Dakota hasn’t been seen in many movies. Dakota has only acted in three movies so far.

Dakota Brinkman Biography
Dakota Brinkman Biography

As Dakota is not much seen in movies, his popularity is less than that of his parents. However, this doesn’t change the fact that he is an equally talented actor.

Today, in this article, we will peek at the actor’s life and learn more about him. So, do scroll down further for some interesting reads!

Quick facts

Full nameDakota Paul Brinkman
BirthdayMay 1, 1989
Age34years old
TraitsPositive- Generous, patient, and determined
Negative- Stubborn, lazy, and materialistic
BirthplaceNew York City, New York, USA
Currently residingAustin, Texas, USA
ParentsBo Brinkman (father)
Melissa Gilbert (mother)
GrandparentsDavid Darlington (Grandfather)
Kathy Wood (Grandmother)
SiblingsMichael Boxleitner (Half-brother)
Marital statusMarried
SpouseMarissa Brinkman
ChildrenRipley Lou Brinkman (Daughter)
ProfessionActor, Entrepreneur
Net worthUSD 1 million

Interesting facts

1. Dakota grew up in a family of actors.

Dakota Brinkman is a celebrity kid. He is the son of the Hollywood stars Melissa Gilbert and Bo Brinkman.

However, his parents are not the only celebrity in his family. Dakota has other close relatives who have made their name in the Hollywood industry.

Dakota is the nephew of Sara Gilbert and Jonathon Gilbert. Similarly, he is the cousin of Corbett Tuck, and Sharon Tate is his distant cousin.

So, we can say that Dakota grew up among actors and celebrities.

2. Dakota Brinkman acted in his first movie when he was only eight.

Dakota’s parents were notable faces in the movie industry. So this influenced him to follow in his parent’s footsteps.

In fact, Dakota started his acting career at the tender age of eight. He first appeared in an erotic thriller short movie, Laws of Deception, in 1997 as Young Evan.

Young Evan from Laws of Deception
Young Dakota Brinkman from Laws of Deception

His role in the movie was quite appreciated.

3. His mother is very proud of him.

Dakota is the first child of the superstar Melissa Gilbert. So, she loves him dearly.

Melissa often posts pictures of her and Dakota and captions them with lovely words. This clearly shows the special bond the mother and son share.

Recently, on Dakota’s 31st birthday, Melissa posted an adorable childhood picture of Dakota and captioned it thus,

This one is 31 years old today. He’s my firstborn . The first one to eternally occupy my heart. I could not be more proud of the man he is. He is compassionate, funny, loving, kind, and fiercely loyal. Happy Birthday, Dakota Paul Brinkman! I love you 3000. xoxo, Mama.

4. Brinkman has six siblings.

This might sound a little strange because Dakota is the only son of Melissa and Bo. However, Dakota indeed has six step-siblings.

Michael Garrett Boxleitner is his half-brother, born to Melissa and Bruce Boxleitner. However, Boxleitner also has two other sons Sam and Lee Boxleitner, from his previous wife. Dakota shares a close bond with his brothers.

Similarly, he also has three step-siblings from his mother’s marriage to Timothy Busfield.

Early life

On May 1, 1989, Dakota Brinkman was born in New York City, USA. He is a celebrity kid born to famous actors Bo Brinkman and Melissa Gilbert. Similarly, Kathy Wood and David Darlington are his grandparents.

Childhood picture of Dakota Brinkman

Since he was a celebrity kid, Dakota had a relatively comfortable childhood. He enjoyed all the luxuries and attention as the son of Hollywood stars.

Though we are unsure about the school and university he attended, we can safely assume that he attended a prestigious school and university. He is well-educated.  

Dakota was introduced to the world of Hollywood at a young age as his family circle was from the movie industry. So, he took to acting when he was only eight.

Dakota was only three years when his parents divorced. So, sadly, he couldn’t enjoy his childhood with both of his parents. However, both his parents shared his custody. So, he is dear to both his father and mother.


Bo Brinkman (Father)

Dakota Brinkman’s father is Bo Brinkman. Brinkman is a famous Hollywood actor and director.

On September 17, 1956, Bo was born in Pasadena, Texas, USA, as Chester Harry Brinkman III. He is the cousin of reputed actors Dennis Quaid and Randy Quaid. Similarly, he is also a distant cousin of the beautiful actor Sharon Tate.

Bo Brinkman started his career in the movie Gettysburg where fans widely appreciated his role. After that, he also appeared in films like Gill Hill Road, Gods and Generals, and many others.

Melissa Gilbert and Bo Brinkman
Melissa Gilbert and Bo Brinkman

Similarly, Brinkman started his career as a director in 2016 Last Man Club. At the same time, he also directed the movie Swing State.

Bo Brinkman was married twice. First, he was married to Valarie Helene Service on December 1, 1979. However, the couple parted ways on June 23, 1980, just after a year of their marriage.

After his first divorce, Bo married the American actor, director, and politician Melissa Gilbert on February 21, 1988, just after dating her for six weeks. Unfortunately, his marriage with Melissa ended after four years.

Melissa Gilbert (Mother)

Dakota Brinkman’s mother is Melissa Gilbert. She is a renowned actor, director, and politician.

Melissa was born on May 18, 1964, in Los Angeles, California, USA, as Melissa Ellen Gilbert. Melissa is the adopted daughter of actor Paul Gilbert and actress Barbara Crane. Her biological parents already had three children. So, deciding that they couldn’t provide for another child, they put Melissa for adoption.

Melissa Gilbert picture

Gilbert is most famous for her role as Laura in the drama series Little Girl on the Prairie. She received a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame at 6429 Hollywood Blvd in 1985. Similarly, she became the president of the Screen Actors Guild after winning the elections with maximum votes twice consecutively. In addition, she has also acted in many T.V. series like The Miracle Worker, The Diary of Anne Frank, Splendor in the Grass, Choices, and others.

Melissa is now married to Timothy Busfield. However, she was previously married to Bo Brinkman, with whom she had her first son Dakota. After getting divorced from Bo, Melissa married Bruce Boxleitner, with whom she had her second son, Michael Boxleitner.

Timothy Busfield (Step-father)

Timothy Busfield is the husband of Melissa Gilbert and Dakota’s stepfather. He and Melissa took their wedding vows on April 24, 2013.

Busfield is an actor, director, producer, and writer who became famous for playing Elliot Weston in the hit television series Thirtysomething. Additionally, his other memorable performances include Dr. John ‘ J.T.’ McIntyre in the medical drama Trapper John, M.D., Mark, the brother-in-law of Kevin Costner’s character in Field of Dreams; and Danny Concannon in Aaron Sorkin’s The West Wing, and several other roles.

Timothy Busfield with his grandkid
Dakota Brinkman’s step-father, Timothy Busfield

Busfield is the Primetime Emmy Award winner, Audition Award winner, and many other prestigious awards.

Timothy was married twice before he finally married Melissa. First, he was married to actor Radha Delamarter with whom he has his first son Wilson. Then, he was married to fashion designer Jennifer Merwin and had two children, Daisy and Samuel.


Michael Boxleitner (Half-brother)

Michael Boxleitner is the son of Bruce Boxleitner and Melissa Gilbert. So, he is the half-brother of Dakota Brinkman. Michael was born on October 6, 1995, in Elgin, Illinois, USA.

Michael Boxleitner is an American actor who is well-known for his role in the movie Necroland. Moreover, he is famous for appearing as Bug Boy in the comedy movie “BUG BOY Adventures” and Christopher in the short comedy movie Post Grads.

Michael Boxleitner
Dakota Brinkman’s half-brother Michael Boxleitner

Dakota also has step-siblings. He has three step-siblings: Samuel, Daisy, and Wilson Busfield, who are the children of Timothy from his previous marriage.

Similarly, Sam and Lee Boxleitner are the sons of Bruce and his ex-wife, to whom Melissa was previously married.

Love affairs and relationship

Marrisa Brinkman (Wife)

Marissa has revealed in her post that the two of them have been seeing each other since 2011. Finally, after five years into their relationship, Dakota proposed to Marissa with an engagement ring on Christmas of 2016. Needless to say, Marissa’s answer was yes.

Brinkman is a loyal and caring husband to Marissa Brinkman. The two have been happily married since March 2018.

The beautiful couple tied their knot on March 25, 2018. Their wedding ceremony took place at Star Hill Ranch- a popular wedding venue in Bee Cave, Texas. Dakota’s younger half-brother Michael Boxleitner served as the best man for the groom. Similarly, his two older brothers, Lee Boxleitner and Sam Boxleitner served as groomsmen.

Dakota Brinkman and Marissa Brinkman wedding photo
Dakota and Marissa Brinkman’s wedding photo

Marissa was born and raised in Hudson Falls, New York, USA. She attended Hudson Falls High School.

Marissa is the official head and accounts administrator at JC2 Technologies. It is a women-owned staffing company. She currently lives in Austin with her family.


Ripley Lou Brinkman (Daughter)

Dakota Brinkman and Marissa Brinkman have a daughter named Ripley Lou Brinkman. She was born on June 8, 2021.

Dakota Brinkman with his newborn
Dakota Brinkman with his newborn

Through Instagram, Marissa announced her pregnancy on November 10, 2020, by captioning “Someone’s Coming.”

Melissa is very proud of her adorable infant granddaughter and often posts cute pictures of the lovely child. On a recent post with a heart-warming picture of Ripley, she wrote:

“My feed is going to get boring if you’re not into babies. I’m a very proud Nana!! Can’t wait to squeeze this little one!”


Dakota Brinkman began his acting career at an early age. His first movie was the erotic thriller Laws of Deception in 1997 as Young Evans when he was only eight years old.

His role in the movie Laws of Deception at such a tender age earned him much appreciation. Dakota also got to work with other famous actors during his career.

After that, he acted in movies like Shay and Safe Harbour. In addition, he has also played in two T.V. documentaries, Intimate Profile and Celebrity Profile.

Dakota has not received much success in the movie industry as his mother has. Also, he is not involved in any new movie projects recently. However, during his acting career, his roles were appreciated. Similarly, he also had a chance to work with recognized actors like Brad Johnson, Liana Liberto, and others.

However, Dakota hasn’t been involved in any movie projects for a considerable time now. He is currently engaged in his own business and is content with his private life.

Dakota Brinkman with wife, Marissa and daughter Ripley Lou
Dakota Brinkman with wife, Marissa, and daughter Ripley Lou

Dakota Brinkman Movies

Movie nameRoleYear
Laws of DeceptionYoung Evan1997
Celebrity Profile (T.V. Series documentary)Self1998
Intimate PortraitSelf1998
Safe HarbourChad Mackenzie2007
ShayJames Schenker2016

net worth

Brinkman acted in a few successful movies. Though he couldn’t make a big name in the Hollywood industry, he accumulated an impressive net worth from his career.

Dakota Brinkman’s net worth is estimated to be USD 1 million, including his house and cars.


How old is Dakota Brinkman?

Dakota Brinkman was born on May 1, 1989. So he is 34 years old as of 2023.

What does Dakota Brinkman do?

Dakota Brinkman is an American actor who has performed unforgettable roles in several movies. However, currently, he is doing his own business.

Who is the father of Dakota Brinkman?

Dakota Brinkman’s father is Bo Brinkman. Bo Brinkman is a famous American actor, director, and producer. He is also an Emmy Award Winner.

Who is Melissa Gilbert married to now?

Melissa Gilbert is married to Timothy Busfield now. On April 24, 2013, the two were married in Santa Barbara, California, at San Ysidro Ranch.

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