‘The Waltons’ Star Judy Norton Goes Behind the Scenes on ‘The Reunion’

by Clayton Edwards

Judy Norton played Mary Ellen Walton for over a decade. She was in the classic series for its entire run. Additionally, she reprised the role for all of the made-for-TV movies based on The Waltons. It wasn’t her first acting gig. However, it was her biggest. Today, she has been in several movies, TV shows, and stage productions, but everyone knows her from her time on Walton’s Mountain.

Not long ago, Judy Norton found a way to use her popularity to educate fans of The Waltons. She hosts a web series in which she takes her audience behind the scenes of the classic television show. She doesn’t just share little tidbits of trivia, though. Instead, Norton tells stories from her life and gives her perspective on the events that took place on the set. Sometimes, she breaks down a broad aspect of The Waltons. Other times, she’ll focus solely on one episode and break it down from beginning to end.

For instance, Judy Norton talked at length about the episode “The Reunion” earlier this month. It was the 13th episode of the show’s first season. In the episode, the Baldwin Sisters hold a family reunion. One of their cousins isn’t what he appears to be.

Judy Norton Talks About “The Reunion”

Judy Norton broke down the plot of the episode. However, she went a little deeper than that. At times, she gave some behind-the-scenes information about actors on the screen or how they handled a certain scene. Before digging into the plot, Norton noted that Earl Hamner. wrote the episode. He also created the show and wrote the novel on which it was based. Judy noted that when Earl wrote episodes, he probably drew from his life experience. So, this episode could have been loosely based on real life.

Judy Norton also noted that “The Reunion” isn’t the only episode in which someone comes to the mountain and tries to take advantage of the Baldwin Sisters. In fact, they had several “cousins” come in and try to pull the wool over their eyes. It never worked out for the con artists, though. This particular cousin was played by Dukes of Hazzard regular Denver Pyle. That show shot on the same backlot as The Waltons.

Judy Norton delivers another interesting tidbit while talking about Mary Ellen getting a black eye in the episode. Norton said that she’s never been in a real fight, but has been accidentally hit in the face. She added that she always loved getting special effects makeup on the show. She said that the process of applying special effects makeup always fascinated her. So, when she got the chance to do it, she was always glad for the extra time in the makeup department.