The Waltons is one of the biggest shows of its time. It hit home with so many fans at the time that it ran for nearly a decade. Folks loved spending time with the cast, which is why it was such a big deal when the CW brought it back with “The Waltons: Homecoming” in December of 2021 with Richard Thomas narrating the program. It was a big hit. Folks love to go back and revisit the show. This is why Judy Norton, who starred on the show as Mary Ellen has found so much success with her YouTube show that revisits past episodes.
The latest included Michael McGreevey, who played Hobie Shanks on the program. Michael would also write some later episodes of the program, following in the footsteps of his father. His character of Hobie was supposed to be a big-time baseball pitcher. This part was fine as McGreevey talked about his familiarity with baseball.
He even added that old-school wind-up you see in the episode. He could place the ball where it needed to go, too. Right over the center of the plate. The only issue was the speed. He could not throw heat. However, McGreevey revealed that the crew in post-production sped it up so that it looked like he was throwing fast.
Judy Norton on ‘The Waltons’
Norton was a big-time character as Mary Ellen on the program. However, she came onto the show at quite a young age. Did it affect her?
She told Zoomer, “I don’t think I ever actually felt famous, which is probably a good thing. It was a different time in the early 1970s when we did The Homecoming and then The Waltons. There was no such thing as social media and the show wasn’t filmed in front of a live studio audience so we were always isolated from our fan base. We just had our close-knit circle as a cast—we showed up, did our job and had fun together. It was a pretty normal life. Sure, we did interviews and promotions for the series but it wasn’t until years later that we got a real sense of the impact the show had.”
She was shielded from it all. It helped the cast were all as close as they were, too.
Norton concluded, “Nowadays, you know every little detail about your favourite shows and actors—the good, the bad and the ugly—because everyone is talking about it online and nothing in your life is private. But as a teenager during filming, I could make the same stupid mistakes as any other kid and not worry about it spreading all over the Internet. There were times where I tried to assert my own independence and tried to throw my weight around and acted like a bit of a brat, but fortunately it was in a contained environment.”
You can watch “The Waltons: Homecoming” on the CW.