EXCLUSIVE: Actress Turned Author Charlotte Stewart, LITTLE HOUSE IN THE HOLLYWOOD HILLS: A Bad Girl’s Guide To Becoming Miss Beadle, Mary X, And Me
”I didn’t know Miss Beadle knew so much about sex, drugs, and rock-n-roll!,” Neil Young said of her new tome. Meanwhile mean old Nellie Oleson’s portrayer, bestselling author and actress Alison Arngim added, “An inspiring story of survival through recovery from alcoholism, breast cancer, and the death of her beloved husband to how she rediscovered life, love, and the thrill of meeting her legions of prairie fans. Moving, yet hilarious, with a healthy dose of celebrity name dropping and enough sex to burn down the prairie!”
CHARLOTTE STEWART’S MEMOIR DETAILS A TURBULENT LIFE IN 50 YEARS OF TELEVISION AND FILM
Beloved actress who appeared in two of TV’s blockbusters – Little House on the Prairie and Twin Peaks – battled cancer, alcoholism, death of a spouse, and financial ruin.
Director David Lynch writes, Charlotte Stewart is my kind of girl – a talented, courageous actress – a loyal friend and one who brings happiness to work.
Charlotte Stewart is known by millions of fans worldwide for her role as the beloved schoolteacher Miss Beadle on the iconic TV show Little House on the Prairie, currently broadcast in syndication in more than 100 countries around the world. Here for the first time an adult cast member writes about the experience of making the show – the challenges, the joys, and the sometimes-turbulent behind-the-scenes relationships.
LITTLE HOUSE IN THE HOLLYWOOD HILLS: A Bad Girl’s Guide to Becoming Miss Beadle, Mary X, and Me (Bear Manor Media) by Charlotte Stewart and Andy Demsky is the no-holds-barred, heart-breaking and ultimately joyful account of 50 years in film and television – offering a back-stage pass to Hollywood’s cocaine-fueled glory years in the 1970s – including her celebrated work with David Lynch in his cult classic film Eraserhead as Mary X, and later in the blockbuster television show Twin Peaks as Betty Briggs, the eternal optimist who wore a smiley face button to Laura Palmer’s funeral.
Little House in the Hollywood Hills is a memoir of working with leading men from Jimmy Stewart and Elvis Presley to Kevin Bacon and Kyle MacLachlan. It also details off-stage friendships such as those with Neil Young and Joni Mitchell, as well as with relationships and flings with some of TV, film, and music’s biggest names including Jon Voight, Richard Dreyfuss, Victor French, Tim Considine, Bill Murray, and Jim Morrison.
Ultimately, Charlotte’s story is of a survivor. Six years after her career-making role on Little House on the Prairie she’d lost everything and was living on vodka and hotdogs. Yet through the darkest periods of her life – divorce, drug-use, cancer, financial ruin, the death of a spouse, and alcoholism – she never lost her humanity or sense of humor.
Charlotte’s Stewart’s story is far from over. She is set to reprise her role of Betty Briggs in the new Twin Peaks series to be seen on Showtime in 2017. Throughout the year, she is a featured celebrity in fan events and festivals for Little House on the Prairie and Twin Peaks both in the U.S. and abroad.
Co-author Andy Demsky is a writer and journalist whose work has been published in the San Francisco Chronicle, Los Angeles Times magazine and Better Homes & Gardens, and he co-wrote Doug Shafer’s critically acclaimed memoir A Vineyard in Napa.
* Attempted suicide – In the late 1960s, husband Tim Considine, said they should stop drinking and smoking pot. He did, she didn’t. Feeling guilty and out of control, she attempted suicide with an overdose of Miltown, a precursor to Valium.
* Divorce – Charlotte and Tim Considine divorced in the late 1960s and Jordan Hahn, in the early 1980s
* Jim Morrison – Charlotte befriended Jim Morrison of The Doors. They had a drinking-buddy/friends-with-benefits relationship. Jim invited Charlotte on a road trip and she brought along her Super 8 mm camera and for the first time reveals never-before-see footage of their trip together, taken about six months before Morrison’s death.
* Flings and relationships – with Jim Morrison, Richard Beymer (West Side Story/Twin Peaks), Bill Murray, Jon Voight, Richard Dreyfuss, Tim Considine, Stuart Margolin (Rockford Files), Victor French (Little House on the Prairie/Highway to Heaven), Ralph Waite (The Waltons), Chad Everett (Medical Center), Michael Parks (Then Came Bronson, Twin Peaks), Mike Connors (Mannix), and Johnny Mandel (songwriter, Suicide is Painless), and Robert Greenfield (author, S.T.P. – A Journey Through America With the Rolling Stones)
* Little House on the Prairie/Michael Landon – To date: Charlotte is the only member of the adult cast or crew to write about the experience of making the show.
* Human Highway/Neil Young- Filmed this in the early 1980s, a surreal anti-nuclear comedy written and directed by Neil Young. Human Highway is being re-released to 400 theaters in a live in-theater event on Feb. 29, 2016. Also appearing in the film are Neil Young and Dennis Hopper. Charlotte and Neil Young have been friends since the early 1970s when she met him while in a relationship with his manager, Elliot Roberts.
* Twin Peaks/David Lynch – Charlotte is the only member of the cast or crew to write about the experience of making the show. She is slated to reprise her character, Betty Briggs, in the Showtime’s 2017 reboot.
* Alcohol addiction and recovery – After Little House in the Prairie, Charlotte sank deep into alcohol and cocaine dependency and lost everything. Too poor to buy cocaine, the woman who had played America’s most beloved schoolteacher started smoking crack and living on vodka and hotdogs. In Aug 1984 she entered rehab and remained sober for 27 years.
* Breast cancer – In early 1991 Charlotte two cancer surgeries – weeks apart – to remove a malignancy in her right breast, along with surrounding breast tissue, and the lymph nodes under her arms. After six weeks of radiation, has been cancer free.
* Death of a spouse – Charlotte became the caretaker of her third husband, David Banks. He died a devastating death at home with Charlotte at his side in 2012.
* Currently – Twin Peaks. Charlotte has recently filmed scenes for the reboot to Twin Peaks set for release on Showtime in 2017. Human Highway. Filmed this in the early 1980s, a surreal anti-nuclear comedy written and directed by Neil Young. Human Highway is being re-released to 400 theaters in a live in-theater event on Feb. 29, 2016. Stars include Neil Young, Dennis Hopper and the band Devo.
July 22 – 24: Twin Peaks Festival, Snoqualmie and North Bend, WA – a Twin Peaks fan event http://www.twinpeaksfest.com