‘The Waltons’ Star Judy Norton Talks Difference Between Filming Original ‘Homecoming’ and the Series

by Lauren Boisvert

What better way to welcome the new year than with Judy Norton and “The Waltons”? Norton recently posted another Ask Judy segment on her YouTube channel. There, she takes fan questions and shares behind-the-scenes looks at “The Waltons” that you can’t get anywhere else. It’s the hit of holiday nostalgia that we all need.

In this segment, Norton talks about one key difference between filming the original “Homecoming” movie and “The Waltons” series. Specifically, a fan asked how the winter scenes were filmed in “Homecoming” versus “The Waltons.”

“We shot [“The Homecoming”] in Jackson Hole, Wyoming,” Norton started, “so we were actually in the snow […] but on ‘The Waltons’, when we did things like ‘The Best Christmas’ or ‘Children’s Carol’, where it was supposed to be snowing but we were on the back lot of the studio, then they did variations of fake snow. In our case, sometimes they used kind of a plastic sort of substance […] just a fake substance that looked like snow. I think we had snowball fights occasionally, so that’s probably actual kind of ice […] that they could get enough there for us to actually form something to throw.

Norton briefly mentions the remake of “Homecoming,” and how they created winter scenes there. “In the remake of ‘Homecoming’,” Norton says, “they used like snow sheets. So, sheets of things that are laid down to look like snow and then they might put some loose stuff on top that you can actually see move. So they have various different ways of creating that.”

However they made the winter scenes on “The Waltons”, winter and Christmas have become synonymous with that beloved television family.

Judy Norton Describes Ellen Corby as a ‘Mentor’ on Set

In another question posed to Judy Norton, a fan asked if it was true that Ellen Corby adopted Jon Walmsley in real-life. Ellen Corby, of course, was an accomplished actress who played Grandma Esther Walton. Jon Walmsley played Jason Walton, the second oldest Walton boy.

Norton replied, “I think it was probably just a saying like, ‘I’m adopting you,’ the way that we might say, I’m taking someone under my wing.”

Norton also recalled that Corby did that with more than just Jon Walmsley. “She did that with several of us,” she said. “She did that with me, too, she gave me a lot of advice. A lot of wonderful advice. So, I think it was probably similar with Jon and maybe they were fairly close during the show and afterward.”

So, seems like Ellen Corby had a nurturing presence on set with her young co-stars, taking them under her wing and helping them learn the ropes of acting and of life. Grandmas, take notes.