‘The Waltons’: Star Judy Norton Says Show Killing Off Curt at Pearl Harbor ‘Brought the War Home’

by Joe Rutland

When The Waltons killed off Curt at Pearl Harbor, it definitely changed the tone for how the show would deal with World War II.

Specifically, it brought it right to the doorsteps of Waltons Mountain.

Actress Judy Norton, in her series Behind the Scenes of The Waltons, talks about this moment. She interviews actor Tom Bower, who played her husband Curt on the CBS family drama.

When it comes to Curt going off to Pearl Harbor, Norton recalls it as “a strong episode, I thought. I thought it was a beautiful episode, and I thought that it, in terms of the show, it really brought the war home.”

Norton, who played Mary Ellen Walton on the show, said that The Waltons were not going to be killing off one of the sons.

Take a look at this very deep, intense, funny interview between Norton and Bower about their time on the show.

While talking about his time on the show, one person that Bower and Norton both had an appreciation for was Will Geer.

Of course, fans know that Geer played Grandpa Walton, father of John Walton, played by Ralph Waite.

‘The Waltons’ Stars Shared Appreciation For Being Around Will Geer

Sadly, Geer died during the show’s original run on CBS.

Bower began by sharing what he learned from Geer.

“There were a number of other things that were quite a teaching benefit,” Bower says. “Just being around Will, what he knew about horticulture or unionism in America, or what he knew about Woody Guthrie.”

So, he learned both men were friends with one another.

Geer “would teach you a lesson about everything in life if you just stuck around and kept your ears open.”

The actor passed along life’s wisdom to those around him, both young and old alike.

“Will was always fascinating to work with,” Norton says.

Guest Stars Earn High Praise From Norton Based Upon Reflection

When it comes to guest stars, The Waltons definitely had their fair share of them. Two of them, though, received high praise from Norton. Their names are synonymous with a specific episode, but avid TV viewers have seen Hal Williams and Lynn Hamilton in many shows.

In The Roots, Williams played Harley and Hamilton played Verdie.

Norton reminds viewers of “the incredible Hal Williams, who you know from any number of other TV series.” They include Sanford and Son, Private Benjamin, and 227. “He’s such a gentleman. Such a wonderful actor, great sense of humor, and just a very, very kind human being.”

She introduces Hamilton and says “I could say all the same things about her. Loved working with Lynn.”

Her shows also included Sanford and Son 227. Hamilton played Verdie in 17 episodes.