‘The Waltons’ Star Judy Norton Discusses How They Dealt With Bad Weather

by Lauren Boisvert

In a video on her YouTube channel called “Ask Judy,” Judy Norton, who played Mary Ellen on “The Waltons,” answers fan questions about the show. One fan asked how the cast and crew dealt with inclement weather on set. Norton had a detailed answer covering the inner workings of television filming.

“If it was raining outside and the rain was really going to show,” Norton stated, “then often what would happen is we would just move inside. We wouldn’t just shoot in the pouring rain.” She went on to describe the process of moving scenes from outdoors to indoors, and the reason actors are actually on call.

“Usually the schedule would change on ‘The Waltons,'” Norton continued. “They’d flip days. They’d go ‘Okay, well it’s raining, so we can’t shoot outside, we’re going to go inside, and the stuff we were going to shoot on day 4, we’re now going to shoot on day 3.’ That’s why actors were on call.”

According to Norton, actors are usually on call even on their days off. Scripts and scenes can change during filming and they need to be available. Norton says that the assistant director would call; actors had to be ready to get in the car and go to set.

Norton went on to tell a story about filming ‘The Waltons” in rainy Vancouver; they would sometimes film in the rain if the rain wasn’t too heavy and wouldn’t be picked up on camera. “There were many a scene outdoors where I stood in a light rain and did the scene,” she said. “And then between takes someone would run in with an umbrella […] so that you didn’t look wet.”

‘The Waltons’ Star Judy Norton Revealed the Show’s Scariest Episode

Halloween was last Sunday, and before the favorite fall holiday hit, Judy Norton talked about the spookiest episode of “The Waltons” on her YouTube series, “Behind the Scenes of ‘The Waltons.'”

The episode was titled “The Ghost Story” from season 2. “The Ghost Story” was a step away from the show’s typical wholesome family flavor; it centered around an Ouija board. “This episode is a little darker and a little creepier,” Judy Norton explained in the video. “When the Waltons end up bringing home this spirit board, they go down a very dark, interesting, and questionable path in terms of […] what they believe in, how superstitious they are, whether or not it’s possible to stay in contact with people who have passed on. So, it raises all those questions.”

Norton felt it was an appropriate episode for the Walton family, as it showed internal struggle and wasn’t just spooky for the sake of being spooky. There were still depths to the characters and it’s not some hokey Halloween episode. Ralph Waite put his directing chops to the test and came out with a brilliant episode.