It was back in early 2013 that I interviewed actress Charlotte Stewart for Seeking Perfection: The Unofficial Guide to Tremors – she told me her thoughts on filming Tremors and returning for Tremors 3 and I thought I’d uncovered most of her best stories.
As I discovered in her new autobiography, there was a lot more going on behind the scenes that few people knew about.
In Little House in the Hollywood Hills: A Bad Girl’s Guide to Becoming Miss Beadle, Mary X and Me, Charlotte takes readers back to her formative years, introducing us to her family and the events leading up to her introduction to the world of acting.
Charlotte’s early career found her working under the direction of David Lynch for his 1977 film, Eraserhead, though it took a number of years to reach the big screen, during which time took on numerous bit parts in shows such as Mannix and The Waltons before winning the role of Miss Beadle in the hit TV drama, Little House on the Prairie.
So far, so Hollywood success story.
But where the book gets really interesting is Charlotte’s revelations about her life between the casting calls, including the romantic encounters with various leading men, the joy of living in Los Angeles during the time of free love and the resulting dramas that were darker than anything in the TV series she starred in.
Charlotte is candid about her problems with alcohol that dogged her private life, touching on the personal relationships she enjoyed and sometime endured, and while there are some sad moments peppered throughout, the overwhelming sense here is of someone who has lived life to the full and who made the most out of the opportunities that came her way.
Meeting Charlotte Stewart (left) and Nancy Roberts at the Hollywood ArcLight, March 2015
Charlotte’s time with personalities such as Jim Morrison, Joni Mitchell, Neil Young, Bill Murray, Jack Nance and Michael Landon are discussed, and there’s plenty of insight for Little House and Twin Peaks fans into those worlds.
As for Tremors, Charlotte adds more depth to the stories you’ll read in Seeking Perfection, including her feelings towards certain cast members and details about what she was doing off-set in Lone Pine while she was still battling the bottle.
Charlotte’s openness makes Little House in the Hollywood Hills a fascinating and lively read for anyone who wants to know more about life backstage in Hollywood, also shedding light on what it means to be on the screens of millions of TVs one day and unemployed the next.
Win one of three copies of Little House in the Hollywood Hills
The fine folks over at BearManor Media have kindly supplied me with three copies of Charlotte’s book to give away in a new competition. To be in with a chance of winning one, all you have to do is send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org with the answer to the following question by midnight (GMT) on Saturday 4 June.
Q. What is the name of the character Charlotte Stewart played in Tremors and Tremors 3: Back to Perfection?
- Miss Beadle
- Nancy Sterngood
- Mary X
Read a preview of Seeking Perfection: The Unofficial Guide to Tremors!