Charlotte Stewart of Little House on the Prairie portrayed wholesome school teacher Eva Beadle for the first four seasons of the show. An aspiring actor in the 60s and 70s, Stewart rubbed elbows with some rising stars along the way.
In her memoir, she described a chance meeting with this comedy legend from Saturday Night Live that took a very brief turn toward romance.
Charlotte Stewart met future ‘SNL’ legend
Living an active social life on the West coast while trying to break into show business, Stewart had a close friend, Jeanne, who worked on a TV comedy show called TVTV. One day, Jeanne introduced Stewart to a member of the cast.
“She worked with a bunch of great young comedic actors on the show, including a guy named Bill,” Stewart recalled in her book Little House in the Hollywood Hills: A Bad Girl’s Guide to Becoming Miss Beadle, Mary X, and Me. “Unfortunately the show only lasted a short time. … Bill ended up going back to New York for a part on a TV show that he’d gotten.”
Little did Stewart know that Bill was getting his start on the legendary sketch show Saturday Night Live, and is now known to the world as Bill Murray. He came back a few months after that initial meeting to hang out with Jeanne and Stewart. Hitting a popular club, Stewart was impressed that Murray was able bypass the long line and get them easy access. The Little House star and Murray ended up hitting it off, leaving Jeanne in the dust.
“The three of us had a great time and at the end of the night, Bill decided to go home with me,” Stewart explained. “Rather than Jeanne. I could tell she was annoyed and hurt by this; I didn’t think it was a big deal.”
Bill Murray gave ‘Little House’ alum the cold shoulder
Stewart was drawn to Murray’s offbeat style, and the two made plans the following day to meet at a soccer game. When she arrived, Murray barely gave her a glance.
“I liked Bill,” she commented. “He wasn’t conventionally handsome, but he was a lot of fun, very smart, and sexy in a way all his own. … Once I got to the game though, it was like I didn’t exist.”
With a rekindled interest in Jeanne, Murray kept the Little House star on the outs. This caused a further rift between Stewart and Jeanne.
“Bill and Jeanne hung out at the sidelines together and talking and laughing, having a lovely old time,” Stewart remembered. “I could tell Jeanne was still mad at me, and she wouldn’t look in my direction or speak to me. And Bill didn’t give me the time of day. It was like he’d never seen me before in his life. I was crushed. And now I was mad at Jeanne.”
Even Bill Murray isn’t worth fighting over
Stewart and Jeanne had a long history of friendship, even rooming together at one point. They had never had a falling out over a man before, so the Little House alum decided to call a truce.
“The angry silence between us lasted about three weeks,” Stewart wrote. “Which was just dumb. Finally I saw Jeanne at a party and thought, ‘This has to end.’ I walked up and gave her a hug.”
The two friends embraced, shed a few tears, and resumed their friendship.
“‘No guy is worth this,’” Stewart told Jeanne, adding in her book, “Not even if Bill was a guy the rest of the world knew as Bill Murray, from a show I finally got around to watching called Saturday Night Live.“