‘The Waltons’ Star Judy Norton Remembers Two Guest Stars Being Lovely on Set

by Lauren Boisvert

In a look at “The Waltons” episode “The Roots”, Judy Norton had nothing but praise for their two co-stars Hal Williams and Lynn Hamilton. Williams played the role of Harley, and Hamilton played Verdie.

In the episode, Harley and his son Jody move from town to town, never staying in the same place for long. Verdie has a crush on Harley, and wants John-Boy and the rest of the Waltons’ help playing matchmaker. Verdie sets Harley up with various jobs around town, flirting with him here and there. Finally, the two go on a romantic picnic, and Harley decides he wants to stay in town. The whole time, his son Jody is hoping they’ll stay, having longed for a family forever. Harley understands the importance of settling down and having a family through the Waltons and Verdie.

Of her co-stars on “The Waltons”, Judy Norton only had wonderful things to say. “The role of Harley Foster was played by the incredible Hal Williams,” she introduced, “who you know from any number of other TV series.” Williams played Officer Smitty on “Sanford and Son”, as well as Sergeant Ted Ross on “Private Benjamin” and Lester Jenkins on “227”. Norton continued, “I loved working with Hal. He’s such a gentleman. Such a wonderful actor, great sense of humor, and just a very, very kind human being.”

Judy Norton then proceed to introduce Lynn Hamilton. “I could say all the same things about her. Loved working with Lynn. She was always bright, and funny, and generous, and kind, and so talented. So it was always a treat for us to have Hal and Lynn on set.” Hamilton also had a main role on “Sanford and Son” as Donna Harris, and a role on “227” as Emma Johnson. She appeared on “The Waltons” as Verdie for 17 episodes.

‘The Waltons’: Judy Norton Discusses the Importance of Picnics

In “The Waltons” episode “The Roots”, Verdie and Harley go on a picnic together, which plants the seeds of romance between them. Judy Norton talked about why “The Waltons” used the picnic motif so often, and her own experiences with it.

She stated that the picnic between Verdie and Harley “reminded me of scenes that I had, when Mary Ellen has a picnic with Eddie Ramirez in the episode ‘The Medal’, and when she has a picnic with Jonesy, in the episode ‘The Whirlwind’.” As for why “The Waltons” used picnics, she said it was “a way to further romance.”

Usually, when someone wants to do something romantic, they look to picnics. Don’t ask me why. I think it has something to do with the innocent, pastoral nature of spreading out a blanket and eating food on the ground. Judy Norton’s Mary Ellen does end up marrying Jonesy in the TV movie “Mother’s Day on Walton Mountain”, and they have two kids together. So, I guess something can be said for the romantic powers of the picnic.