Judy Norton played Mary Ellen, the eldest daughter on The Waltons throughout the entire nine-season run. Today, Norton hosts a YouTube-based web series in which she takes fans behind the scenes of the classic show. In that series, she discusses a wide range of topics. Sometimes, Norton will break down popular episodes of the show. Other times, she’ll talk about broader concepts such as eating on set or the show’s wardrobe. However, the most engaging episodes are the ones she simply calls “Ask Judy,” where she takes questions from her fans.
During the most recent installment of her show, Judy Norton discussed what relationships were like between the cast and crew.
Steven wrote to Judy Norton to ask, “Can you describe for us the kind of relationships you and others had with the crew? And then describe what roles make up the crew? Fans mostly think of the actors having strong relationships, hopefully. But, I’m certain there must be crew members that you were equally as friendly with. I’d love to hear more about that aspect of the experience.”
Judy Norton on the Close Bonds Between Cast and Crew
First, Judy Norton gave a short answer. “Definitely, especially when you spend nine seasons together.” Then, she added that the cast of The Waltons was “incredibly close.” She went on to say that many crew members stayed on for several seasons.
“Our sound engineer was there –Bill Flannery – for many, many years. Our script supervisor, Dick Chafee, was there for many seasons.” Then, Judy Norton talked about some of the positions that changed hands several times over the course of the show’s nine-season run. Cinematographers and camera operators changed several times. However, Norton said it was a “good idea” to get along well with the camera operators.
With a laugh, Judy Norton noted that the camera operators, “Were the ones who made sure you were in focus and looked good.” That wasn’t all, though. She added that camera operators could help the actors position themselves so they looked their best. But, the little hints and tips they gave didn’t just let Norton and the rest of the cast of The Waltons look good on screen. Judy said that she learned so much from those little tips.
Judy Norton has a Waltons crew member to thank for introducing her to one of her passions. “There was a wardrobe mistress who invited me to a horse show and really introduced me to horses and jumping and all of that, which became a lifelong passion of mine.”
In short, Norton said that the cast of The Waltons was close to the crew because “We had great crew members. We had a lot of fun.”