Little House on the Prairie's Charlotte Stewart Reflects On Addiction, Rehab In New Memoir

By Victoria Kim 07/20/16
Little House on the Prairie's Charlotte Stewart Reflects On Addiction, Rehab In New Memoir

The sunny schoolmarm known as Miss Beadle on Little House on the Prairie is 75 now, remarried, and just wrapped filming of the follow-up to Twin Peaks, David Lynch’s 1990 cult serial drama. 

But life wasn’t always so sweet for Charlotte Stewart. While promoting her memoir, Little House in the Hollywood Hills: A Bad Girl’s Guide to Becoming Miss Beadle, Mary X, and Me, which came out in June, Stewart has inevitably been asked about the dark time in her life when Little House ended and she lost her way.

“I had gotten a little bit older, and the roles weren’t coming, and I got involved a little too heavily in alcohol and drugs. I had lost perspective,” she told the Huffington Post in June. 

At her lowest point, she was homeless, but she ultimately accepted that she had a problem and went to rehab. “I never had a sense of humor about it. That was a really horrible time for me,” she told the Star Tribune this month. “In the early ‘80s, my business manager had managed to put a lot of my money up his nose and I wasn’t getting jobs. I was spending too much time playing.”

The actress said it took her a while, but with time, she was able to see that she was headed down the wrong path. “People were trying to help me, but I didn’t want to hear what they were saying,” she continued. “That’s common with addicts. I’m grateful that I had friends and family that hung in there with me and I had some sense to listen to them.”

Her loved ones were instrumental in her recovery. “I just thank God that I had a great family who were supportive, and had friends who came through for me when I couldn’t see where I was going, and that maybe I was headed down the wrong path,” she told the Huffington Post. “They saved my life.”

“Maybe somebody will read my book and recognize something in themselves, and be able to reach out and get some help,” she added.

Despite being known for her role as the cheery schoolteacher on Little House, Stewart isn’t ashamed of her past. “My life hasn’t always been Little House on the Prairie and Miss Beadle,” she told the Huffington Post. “There were a few dark times too.” Nevertheless, she says she’s never been happier or healthier. The 75-year-old just got remarried and will appear in next year’s much anticipated return of Twin Peaks to reprise her role as Betty Briggs.

For now, the Hollywood veteran seems up for any challenge. She told the Huffington Post: “Life doesn’t always go in one direction. You get surprised. I hope that I will always be open to the next thing that happens—whether it’s up or down—and deal with it as it comes to my life.”

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Victoria is interested in anything that has to do with how mind-altering substances impact society. Find Victoria on LinkedIn or Tumblr

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