‘Little House on the Prairie’ Star Charlotte Stewart Recalled Her Date With Don Knotts: ‘I Could Barely Make It Through Dinner’
Little House on the Prairie featured an ensemble cast during its eight-season run on NBC. Headed by Bonanza alum Michael Landon, the historical drama served as a steady gig for many character actors. Charlotte Stewart, who played school teacher Miss Eva Beadle, was in her early 30s when she landed the role and enjoying life on the West Coast, which included dating some fellow thespians.
‘Little House’ star dated some famous faces
In her 2016 memoir, Stewart wrote about working on the Little House set as well as some adventures in her personal life. Single and dating while living in California, Stewart “had flings” with some well-known actors and musicians in the 70s, including Bill Murray, Richard Dreyfus, and The Doors frontman Jim Morrison. Not all of her romantic interludes were her idea of perfection but she usually found something appealing in a paramour.
“The guys I had flings with were ones I found sexy, cool, or just fun to hang out with,” Stewart wrote in her book, Little House in the Hollywood Hills: A Bad Girl’s Guide to Becoming Miss Beadle, Mary X, and Me. “Smart, fascinating, sometimes challenging.”
The Little House alum described one television actor who had some not-so-redeeming qualities, yet she enjoyed his company.
“For example, on set Chad Everett, who was the star of Medical Center, could at times be a pain,” she explained. “Kind of a big shot, told jokes that were usually in really bad taste or annoying, but he could be a lot of fun. Did I want a relationship with the guy? No. Did I want to be Mrs. Chad Everett and wake up beside him for the rest of my life? Shoot me. But he could be entertaining to play with.”
‘Andy Griffith’ star and Charlotte Stewart had no chemistry
Stewart traveled in Hollywood circles at the time and made many friends within the industry. She ended up being introduced to a star from The Andy Griffith Show.
“Someone thought I should go out with Don Knotts, the actor who played Andy Griffith’s side kick [Barney Fife],” the Little House star recalled. “Now look, who doesn’t love Don Knotts – a terrific comedic performer.”
It soon became obvious to Stewart that a spark between them was nowhere to be found. She couldn’t wait for the evening to end.
“He took me to dinner at the Beverly Wilshire Hotel, which was pretty old school for my tastes,” she remarked. “It’d be like going to The Brown Derby, which had been the happening spot in the 40s. Don was 20 years older, of a different era, and we just didn’t click. I could barely make it through the dinner.”
Charlotte Stewart avoided the ‘casting couch’
While Stewart was open about her liaisons over the years, she emphasized that she never used sex as a way to get ahead onscreen.
“The thing I didn’t even think to do was any sort of strategic sleeping around, which can (I’m told) bolster your career,” the Little House actor wrote. “In spite of various offers, I didn’t have sex with anyone on ‘the casting couch’ in exchange for a role.”
She reiterated that she never utilized physical intimacy as any sort of strategy for a relationship or a role.
“Sex was never a kind of currency for me,” Stewart commented. “I didn’t obtain things with it. I didn’t try to pin anyone down with it. It wasn’t about control or gain.”