‘The Waltons’ Star Judy Norton Says the Cast Never Thought Beyond the Next Season

by Samantha Whidden

Her hit series The Waltons ran for a total of nine seasons from September 1972 to June 1981. But actress Judy Norton admits that the cast never thought beyond the next season. 

During a recent Ask Judy discussion on YouTube, Norton revealed how the cast did not expect anything when it came to the show. “I don’t know that we ever thought beyond the next season,” The Waltons star stated. “We never knew anything. Any season could have been our last. So I think I felt pretty confident that we were having a good run. And our ratings were good. But beyond that, I didn’t think how long it might run.”

The Waltons star also answered if filming reunion episodes feel differently from shooting the original series. Norton explained that it was different 10 years after the show ended. But the relationships between the cast members were always there. “We continued to be close even when we weren’t filming; We saw each other, we got together. [They] shared experiences [and] we did events together. So there was still a lot of interaction.”

Norton then said that falling back into The Waltons characters was pretty easy for her and the rest fo the cast. “So it was like, we never stepped away. What seemed different was we were older. The storylines were different. We were now grown up. Sometimes the sets and aspects of that felt different.”

The Waltons premiered on September 14, 1972. It had a total of 221 episodes during its entire nine-season run. Richard Thomas, Ralph Waite, Michael Learned, Ellen Corby, Mary Elizabeth McDonough, and Will Geer starred in the series. 

Judy Norton Talks Off Set Relationships With Her ‘The Waltons’ Castmates

While continuing to answer questions, Judy Norton opened up about the off-set relationships with her fellow The Waltons castmates. When asked if she spent her off time with the castmates, Norton said often times but not all the time. 

“Yeah, I mean, not all the time,” Norton stated. “Because we spent so much time together filming that sometimes it was like, ok that’s enough. I’d like to spend time with my own family and personal friends away from it.”

Norton does say that she and the other The Waltons castmates did do publicity events together and sometimes they did do fun things together. She also revealed if she and other castmates attended the same schools. “No. None of us attended the same public school. So that didn’t happen.”

Norton then shares details about her cruise with Mary Elizabeth McDonough. “Mary and I took that cruise. And Mary and I visited each other at different times when we were shooting different things. Or doing theater in different cities. So she and I probably did more of that earlier on than I did with some of the other cast members.”