Kami Cotler, known as youngest “Walton” family member Elizabeth, found success after the storied show ended in 1981.
Sure, everyone remembers ol’ John-Boy (Richard Thomas) and his acting successes. But the 56-year-old Cotler found a career in education, working as a teacher and principal.
But she also stayed close to the Walton kids and worked in six reunion movies.
But, unlike some of her co-stars, Best Life reported Colter did not do much acting outside the series.
Youngest ‘Walton’ Started Show at 6
Cotler had a few TV roles before hitting it big with “The Waltons.” She landed with “Me and The Chimp” and the TV movie “The Heist” before casting on the long-running show.
The woman said she kept up with auditions but wanted to be a college student. She told VisionTV in 2017 that the show ended and college started soon after. But she said, “most of the things I auditioned for were not well written and I wasn’t terribly eager to get those jobs.”
After graduation, she found new roles as a teacher and a principal. She worked to get Environmental Charter Middle School together.
She’s worked at the Los Angeles-area school since 2003 and now works as the Director of Strategic Initiatives. After working there daily, she now had a 4-day week between three schools.
Cotler Would Come Back For Another Movie
The former principal and actor has not sworn off acting altogether. She told Cinephiled that she’d come back to her role again for fun.
After the first few Walton TV movies, she’s not sure how CBS or any network would do an adult-starred reunion now. Those movies helped her realize her decision to get out of acting was a good one.
Cotler weighed in on the most recent Walton Christmas version. She told Fox News that she saw a CW network “Homecoming” screening.
The former actress knew of fans’ worries that the network was trying to replace “the original family.” She said she didn’t think that from her interpretation of the special.
“I don’t think anyone is replacing anything,” she told Fox News in November. “I think the reboot is honoring the timelessness and beauty of Earl Hamner’s story.”
Cotler hoped fans would give it a chance, saying, “it’s the way to let Hollywood know there is a market for family programming.”
But the ratings were decent for the network.
‘Waltons’ Star Reflects On Episodes, Stay Close
Cotler has shared her 50-year-old memories from the show on YouTube. She’s posted eight videos on a channel about the series premiere “Foundling” episode. In the videos, she talks about behind-the-scenes stuff.
She can also share those memories with her former co-stars. She keeps in touch, calling them a “second family.”