‘The Waltons’ Star Judy Norton Talks About Son Following Her Into Acting

by Keeli Parkey

Actress Judy Norton is most famous for playing a daughter. She played Mary Ellen Walton for nine seasons of the beloved family series “The Waltons.” Norton later became a mother herself.

During a recent installment of her popular video series, “Behind the Scenes of ‘The Waltons,'” the now 63-year-old Norton answered questions posed to her by fans of the show. This video series is released on her YouTube Channel. She calls these videos “Ask Judy.”

One of several questions she was asked was if her son followed her into acting? “Did you encourage your kids to get involved with acting at all?” Norton was asked. Here’s what the Mary Ellen actress had to say on this topic.

“When my son was little, my agent did ask if I was interested in them submitting him for some things,” Judy Norton recalled.

So, “The Waltons” star agreed to allow her son to take an acting job. You would think that her many years in Hollywood would have prepared Norton for the stresses of having a child acting, but that was not the case. Having her son working in Hollywood was stressful for her.

“He did do one TV commercial. I was a complete wreck. He was fine,” she also said.

Judy Norton said she did not like how she saw children being treated on that set. She decided that an acting career was not right for her son at a young age.

‘The Waltons’ Star Judy Norton Worked With Her Son in a Television Show

“I hated every moment of it as a stage parent. I was just so protective. And was like, no. I was horrified by, you know, they didn’t – I felt they didn’t really take care of the children well. And so, I was like, nope, I’m done. He didn’t care. He was like two and a half. So, I’m like, I don’t think so,” “The Waltons” star recalled.

Flash forward a few years. Judy Norton’s son has grown up some and following in his mother’s footsteps was something he decided he wanted to try.

“And then when he was a little older, he did express some interest in acting once or twice. So, I just kind of left it to him,” she said.

One positive thing about his decision is that it allowed Norton to work with her son on a television show.

“He did work with me on the TV series I did up in Canada – ‘Bluff’ – that I did writing and directing on. So, he did a few episodes, two or three episodes, of that series,” the actress shared. “So, that was great to do some scenes with him – to direct him.”

In the end, Judy Norton’s son decided that acting was not the career for him.

“Yeah, he did a little bit (of acting) and then chose to move more into other areas of the creative arts. And so, he’s kind of working more behind the scenes now,” she said.

You can watch Judy Norton talk about “The Waltons” below. Her comments about her son following her into acting begin around the 8:45 mark of the video.