The Waltons Star Judy Norton recently discussed the relationship between Grandpa and John Walton. Norton played Mary Ellen Walton on the hit family series. She now has a YouTube show where she discusses her time behind the scenes and how she feels about the story.
In a new edition of a series where she dissects different episodes, she talks about The Theft Episode and the relationship between John Walton and Grandpa.
“Sometimes I really didn’t see the relationship of Grandpa as John’s Father. I mean, you certainly saw them argue at times. But it tended to be more John disagreeing with Grandpa and them bickering about things but in this case, I was suddenly reminded “that’s right,” he raised this boy. He and Grandma raised John,” she says.
“Even if their relationship didn’t seem like the most traditional of child-parent dynamics, they definitely still are,” she continued.
There’s a moment in the Theft Episode where Grandpa takes on a more fatherly role to John.
“There was a moment where I was aware of him being John’s father and defending his son,” she said.
The Waltons may have been seen as a more wholesome show, but it did address the difficulties within family. The drama, set in the depression era, really saw the family grow and struggle over the years. The episode, The Theft, where a Widow accuses John of stealing while working on her mansion, is one of the episodes where you really get to see the family dynamic play out and shift.
Norton Also Revealed One Thing that Became Instinct While Filming ‘The Waltons’
The Theft is one of the earlier episodes of The Waltons, and Judy Norton still didn’t have some things down as an actress yet. There’s a moment where she sits down. You can see the hair covering her face, almost shielding her from the camera.
“When I first sit down, you’ll see that my hair kind of falls in front of my face. Well, immediately the camera can’t see my eyes,” she says. But the more times they filmed, the more it became an instinct for her to make sure her face wasn’t covered, resulting in better shots.
Norton was also just a kid when she got started on The Waltons, and while being young in that limelight wasn’t easy, Judy Norton and her fellow castmates have some very quality memories from their time on the classic show. She got some acting tricks down. But she also managed to deal with the unpleasant side effects that come with being a young actor.
“I don’t think I ever actually felt famous, which is probably a good thing,” she said. “I think all of us, the whole cast, remained pretty grounded.”
If you want to learn more behind-the-scenes info about The Waltons, you can check out Judy Norton’s video series.