‘The Waltons’ Star Judy Norton Reflects on Performing Truck ‘Stunt’

by Lauren Boisvert
(Photo by Harmony Gerber/Getty Images)

In a new behind-the-scenes look at “The Waltons” episode “The Roots”, Judy Norton shared an interesting anecdote about truck safety on set. She shared a scene where John-Boy is driving the family truck; they were giving their friend Verdie a ride back to her house. All the kids piled into the back of the truck.

“I love how all the kids are riding in the back of the truck,” Norton starts. “And I am sitting up leaning against the back of the truck cab and literally had one foot over the side of the truck with my foot resting on the running board.”

Not the safest place for a kid to be, obviously. Norton continues, “Clearly, there was no concern about any danger with the truck riding along like that. However, usually, we weren’t going very fast, so it was actually pretty safe. But there were no additional safety precautions ever taken in that truck when we’re all sitting in the back.”

She did share that they tended to hold onto the smaller kids in the back of the truck. Specifically, Kami Cotler, who played Elizabeth, the youngest Walton. “Just to make sure that nobody fell out,” says Norton.

‘The Waltons’: Judy Norton Talks About Instincts on Set

In a behind-the-scenes look at the episode “The Theft”, where John Walton is accused of stealing from a rich family, Judy Norton shared an interesting story about an act that became instinct for her on set.

“As an actor, you’re always aware of where the camera is,” she started, “where the lights are, things like that.” She then shared a scene where she gets up off the couch and shows a magazine article to Grandpa, sitting on the edge of his chair. “When I first sit down,” she continued, “You’ll see that my hair kind of falls in front of my face. Immediately, the camera can’t see my eyes. So, actors get used to things like pulling the hair back, so that the camera can see you.”

In the scene, right after her hair falls in her face, Norton tucks it back behind her ear. We can then see her face again. “I wouldn’t necessarily automatically do that in real life,” Norton said, “but knowing the camera’s there, it gets to be an instinct.”

In a different video, Norton also discussed her friendship with her “Waltons” co-stars. She spoke specifically about a bond she formed with Mary Elizabeth McDonough. “Mary and I visited each other different times when we were shooting different things or doing theatre in different cities,” Norton said. “So, she and I probably did more of that earlier on than maybe I did with some of the other cast members.”