‘Little House on the Prairie’ Star Charlotte Stewart Called This ‘I Love Lucy’ Actor ‘Grouchy, Foul-Mouthed’ and a ‘Sweetheart’
Charlotte Stewart had some TV guest appearances before landing her role on Little House on the Prairie. When she got a small part on a hit sitcom in the 1960s, Stewart got to know this I Love Lucy star who won her over despite having a gruff disposition.
Charlotte Stewart met a future award-winning actor on ‘My Three Sons’ set
Stewart was an aspiring actor in the early 1960s when she earned a guest role on the family-friendly comedy My Three Sons. She recalled meeting a young man who was also appearing on the sitcom and was battling some nerves.
“On the first day of My Three Sons, at 6 a.m. I drove into the Gower Street entrance and went into hair and makeup,” she wrote in her 2016 memoir, Little House in the Hollywood Hills: A Bad Girl’s Guide to Becoming Miss Beadle, Mary X, and Me. “Before filming started that day… I saw an extremely nervous young actor. He told me it was his first TV role, his first day on a sound stage, and he looked like he was going to throw up. I told him he’d be fine and offered to run lines.”
Turns out the actor Stewart was speaking with would go on to star in various major motion pictures and television shows, and garner several awards along the way.
“You’d never know today that Beau Bridges had ever experienced a moment of anxiety in his life,” the Little House alum remarked. “He’s so often cast as a lovable laid-back guy. But we’re all young and terrified once.”
‘Little House’ alum got to know William Frawley, aka Fred Mertz
Stewart also acquainted with an acting legend during her time on My Three Sons. William Frawley brought the curmudgeonly character of Fred Mertz to life on I Love Lucy, and later became a regular cast member on My Three Sons as grandfather Bub O’Casey. Stewart met the television icon when she had her guest gig on the show and found him to be similar to his former onscreen persona – but with a sweet side.
“It was a real treat to work with the cast and crew of the show, especially, as I’d anticipated, with William Frawley,” Stewart wrote. “Bill was a grouchy, foul-mouthed old son of a b****, whom I came to adore.”
Though Stewart and Frawley didn’t usually have scenes together, they got to know each other between takes. The two would frequently go to the iconic restaurant Nicodell for lunch.
“[Frawley] always entered through the kitchen and there was perpetually a red-leather booth waiting for him,” the Little House star explained. “He’d glare at the waitress over the menu and shoot his mouth off with stuff like, ‘What kinda god**** slop are you gonna poison me with today?'”
Charlotte Stewart has a ‘treasured’ momento from ‘I Love Lucy’ star
Stewart was able to see past Frawley’s cantankerous nature and discovered he was a big softie once you got past the grumpiness.
“Under all that he was a sweetheart,” she revealed. “My parents visited the set once while we were filming an episode a year or two later and Bill was so kind to them.”
The Little House actor still considers a picture with Frawley as one of her prized possessions.
“I have a black and white photograph of Bill with my mom, dad, and me,” Stewart shared. “It’s one of my most treasured mementos.”
Frawley died in 1966.