The Waltons star Judy Norton revealed some behind-the-scenes secrets for the episode The Star. Norton has her own youtube show called Behind the Scenes of The Waltons where she gives fans some insight on everything from set design, writing, and guest stars to her own opinions.
The Star is an episode from season 1 that follows the family after they see a shooting star, but it means different things to different family members.
“There’s one particularly bright [star] that a number of the family members make a wish on,” she explained. But then the star continued to move and crash-landed right at the Baldwin’s house. Grandpa thinks the shooting star is a sign of death. Others want to profit off the star. John Boy gets to work on fixing the roof.
When John Boy Helped Fix the Roof, The Sky Behind Him Was Fake
But when John Boy is fixing the roof, the sky behind him is actually fake. The whole scene was shot inside the studio. This is similar to how The Waltons shot a ton of their episodes. For instance, a lot of the episode called The Ferris Wheel was also shot indoors for a lot of scenes that appear to take place outside.
Another behind-the-scenes tidbit also involves John Boy. There’s a moment where he’s climbing up a ladder in front of a door and cousin Polonious walks out, nearly knocking him off. This had to be timed well so John Boy actor Richard Thomas wouldn’t get injured.
Norton explained that in these types of scenes that have to be well-timed where one actor can’t see where they’re supposed to enter, production had to shoot it in a special way.
“[Production] would often rig a cue light. It would be a red light that would be rigged inside. If you were waiting to make an entrance you would wait and watch that light,” she said. Someone on set would man that cue light switch.
Ben Was Way Younger Than the Actor Portraying Him on ‘The Waltons’
In the episode, Ben prepares for a spelling bee. But the actor who played him, Eric Scott, was actually nearing 14 at the time. Funny enough, it wasn’t a huge deal because The Waltons didn’t pay super close attention from season to seasons. Sometimes Erin was Older than Eric, sometimes Eric was older than Erin.
When Ben goes to the spelling bee, it’s down to Ben and a girl named Nancy. The actress who played Nancy, Cindy, returned in season 3.
Like any hollywood production, each episode of The Waltons seems to have a ton of behind-the-scenes secrets that fans simply don’t get to see. Judy Norton’s series gives fans insight into how the iconic show was made.