Jon Walmsley classically portrayed Jason Walton on the beloved 1970s show “The Waltons” inspired by Earl Hamner Jr. The show lasted nine seasons and followed the lives of the Walton family through the Great Depression until World War II. Walmsley recently discussed what the show meant to him. Through the work, he realized, it inspired the lives of so many.
Though the cast didn’t realize it at the time, “The Waltons” reach went far beyond the set. Many people across generations were touched by the drama series.
In an interview with Billboard in 2017, Walmsley discussed how the show inspired not only his musical career, but what the show meant to him. He touched on how that period in his life still touches him now.
“It’s amazing, and so gratifying,” he said. “When you show up on the set, you’ve memorized your lines, you try to do your scenes, and be credible and authentic as an actor, but we initially had little idea the show would have such an impact on people. It’s a very insular little world. You go to work, and you’re around the same people every day – the cast, crew, and producers. It’s not until later that you get out and meet people, and you hear stories about how the show affected their lives in some way or helped them through problems they were going through.”
“The Waltons” Star Feels Lucky to Have Been a Part of Cast
The star goes on to add that he feels lucky to be a part of something that was so magical for its time.
“We are all very aware of the fact that we share a unique relationship, having been through that experience together – and a great experience it was. We’re all so very lucky that we are so close – and were so close from day one. It’s all so remarkable how fast we all clicked personality wise. It was almost like one of those situations where you meet somebody and you feel like you have always known them. I think that contributed to the authenticity and the success the show had. I’m grateful that those relationships continue.”
“The Waltons” inspired several film productions – and stands the test of time as one of the greatest Great Depression stories. Inspired by Earl Hamner Jr.’s family life, the show began as a Christmas special detailing Hamner’s “The Homecoming.” The CBS Christmas special served as the pilot for the show.
It would go on to become one of CBS’s most watched series of the time. Walmsley warmly remembers the series’ impact on the world.
Further, the star adds that his successes since the show are an indirect result of being a part of “The Waltons” cast.
Walmsley has released a number of blues albums in the years since “The Waltons” aired. His most recent being “Goin’ to Clarksdale,” which is a classic blues album. It too, features direct inspiration from the former hit show.