‘The Waltons’: Why Michael Learned Said She Never Stopped Acting

by Chase Thomas
(Photo by Frazer Harrison/Getty Images)

The Waltons was an iconic show for a number of years in the 1970s. Part of what made the show a hit for so long as the chemistry between the staff on the program. It was a family affair and folks who watched and loved the show saw that. One of the stars, Michael Learned, felt that same feeling while working on the show. In a recent interview, The Waltons star Michael Learned opened up about why she never stopped acting.

She told Fox News back in 2019, “I love to work. When I’m at home all I do is housework and grocery shopping—it’s so boring! So when I go away to work, I feel alive again.” She enjoys what she does. You know the expression about work and what it feels like when you love what you do. She loves the process. Work is what energized Learned for so many years. She found her passion in acting and wanted to commit to that.

Richard Thomas on ‘The Waltons’

Learned was not the only star from the program who took away a lot from the iconic program. Richard Thomas, who played John-Boy, also loved being part of the special show. So much so that he returned to the reboot on the CW in December of 2021.

Richard Thomas told Smashing Interviews, “Oh no. It’s just a blessing. It’s wonderful. There are challenges with every way of life, but if you’re an actor, and you’re lucky enough to create a role that has that kind of an impact, then it’s a good day’s work.” He clearly loved the work he did back in the day and he loved what that role did for him in the future.

He continued on The Waltons, “Yeah, well, I grew up riding them. My dad was from eastern Kentucky, and that’s where I spent all my childhood summers on my grandfather’s farm, so we always had mules. We had walking horses. My dad had American Saddlebred horses for years, so I grew up riding. I didn’t do any stunts myself on the show, but riding was always a pleasure.” Thomas was far more of a natural on the show than some might have expected it appears. He may not have done his own stunts, but he was familiar with it all and living on a farm.

Both Thomas and Learned loved working on the show and they love the prospect of acting. Staying busy is important but it’s clearly their passion. They are also passionate about the show that ran for nearly a decade. You can watch The Waltons: Homecoming on the CW.