‘Little House on the Prairie’: Charlotte Stewart Shares Hilarious Michael Landon Prank from Famous Episode

by Halle Ames

After spending four seasons together on the set of Little House on the Prairie, actress Charlotte Stewart shares the hilarious prank Michael Landon once pulled. 

Charlotte Stewart, the actress who played Eva Beadle, a Walnut Grove school teacher on the 1974 show, Little House on the Prairie, reveals the joke her co-star, Michael Landon played on a productions member. 

Charlotte Stewart Remembers the “Blizzard”

After many seasons of getting comfortable on set together, Landon’s playful side came out. Landon was known to be a jokester and saw the perfect opportunity to pull a prank behind the scene of the most memorable episode in season three, titled “Blizzard.”

During the episode, the children in Walnut Grove had their dreams come true halfway through school with a snow day. The episode shows the young school children attempting to get home in the blizzard. Stewart wrote about the filming process in a 2019 post to LittleHouseonthePrairie.com

“The snowstorm scenes were pretty amazing,” said Stewart. “Mike shot them in a huge water tank set at Paramount as they were blowing in a mix of man-made snow and some other artificial white stuff (insulation, I think).”

Charlotte Stewart admits that the situation was not ideal for anyone on set with everything getting wet, including the script. 

“Everything was actually very cold and wet during the blizzard shoot,” Stewart explained. “The artificial snow was melting like crazy. Mary Yerk, our script continuity person, was upset because her script pages were getting soggy, and her notes were smearing.”

Michael Landon Lightens the Mood

According to Stewart, Yerk started desperately waving the wet pages up and down to try and dry them. This gave the mischievous Michael Landon an idea for a prank. 

“While she was distracted and waving her script page around in the air, he snuck up behind her, pulled a lighter out of his pocket, and lit her script page on fire,” Stewart wrote. “A moment later, she gave a scream, and Mike had the biggest laugh of the day.”

Goodbye Miss Beadle

Charlotte Stewart’s character of Eva Beadle was eventually written out of the series in season four of nine. Upon her last day of filming, she reveals that the tears she shed were real, as she loved her time on the show. 

“My last day shooting Little House was August 22, 1977,” Stewart wrote in her memoir Little House in the Hollywood Hills: A Bad Girl’s Guide to Becoming Miss Beadle, Mary X, and Me. “Mike made sure I had a good moment to end on. The tears in my eyes were real. Those lines from the script were words from my heart. I had enjoyed being part of this ensemble so much.”

The series debuted its last episode in 1982. Little House on the Prairie ended due to the decline in ratings. Michael Landon also stated his thoughts on the main character, Laura.

“I didn’t think a married woman should still be coming to her father for advice.” 

That seems like a good enough reason, but I still call my father daily for advice. Don’t judge me.

[H/T Cheat Sheet]