‘The Waltons’ Star Judy Norton Opens Up About Filming During Holidays

by Lauren Boisvert

Judy Norton is back with another behind the scenes of “The Waltons” video, and this time she’s answering holiday-themed questions from fans.

The first question asks what the filming schedule was like around the holiday season, and what went on around the sets during the holidays. “At Thanksgiving, I think we typically had a four-day weekend,” Norton starts. “We had Thanksgiving off, Thursday, Friday, and then the weekend, we never filmed on weekends. So, much like most people and many other jobs.”

She then spoke about the Christmas schedule on “The Waltons”. “At Christmas,” she said, “I think sometimes we had a week […] I don’t remember if we ever had more than a week, it may have depended a bit on when Christmas was, what day of the week it was. But, we didn’t have a long Christmas break. And then we were right back to work.”

Norton also detailed “The Waltons” filming schedule in her answer, saying, “We usually filmed about the end of May or right around June through ’til about I think about the end of February into March.” Assuming the cast was in front of the camera nearly every day, that’s a heck of a long time. Those holiday breaks were probably very much needed. Norton continued, “Then we had three months off for hiatus before we came back for the next season.” Sounds a lot like school, to be honest.

‘The Waltons’: Judy Norton Discusses Behind the Scenes of Thanksgiving Episode

Thanksgiving has long since passed, but over that holiday weekend, Judy Norton shared some behind-the-scenes tidbits from “The Waltons” episode “The Waiting.”

In the episode, John-Boy has been recovered, alive, from a plane crash. John Sr. and Olivia rush to the hospital to see him. He’s in a coma, and won’t wake up no matter what they do. Finally, when the parents are sitting around John-Boy’s bedside, praying before Thanksgiving dinner, John-Boy reaches out for their hands. It’s the first sign they’ve had that he’s going to be all right.

As for the behind-the-scenes aspects, Norton detailed a few interesting points in her video. For one, the hospital building is the one “The Waltons” used for every official-looking building on the show. Norton says, “It was used for Boatwright University, for Mary Ellen’s nursing school, when the Waltons went to Jefferson County, to the courthouse […] they would simply change the signage, do a little bit of change with the foliage, and there we go, a new location.”

This “The Waltons” episode is also the first look at the new John-Boy. After Richard Thomas left the show in season 5, there wasn’t a John-Boy on screen for three seasons. There would be mentions of him being in New York, but he never physically came back. Until “The Waiting.” Robert Wightman played John-Boy until the end of the series.