‘The Waltons’ Cast Never Felt the Need to Compete Against One Another: Here’s Why

by Keeli Parkey

Famously, the cast members of “The Waltons” really got along with one another. And, they even became like a family to one another. As part of this shared respect and love, the actors have said they did not feel the need to compete with one another while appearing on the beloved show.

A few of the show’s actors talked about their time on “The Waltons” while appearing on “Stars in the House” during January 2021. “Stars in the House” is a streaming show hosted by Seth Rudetsky and James Wesley. In addition to talking with actors on “The Waltons,” the duo has also interviewed cast members of “Little House on the Prairie.”

During the January 2021 episode “The Waltons” actors who appeared on “Stars in the House” included Michael Learned and Richard Thomas. Kami Cotler, Judy Norton, and Eric “Ben” Scott also participated. Being the matriarch of the fictional family, it was Learned who shared some real heartfelt truths about the show.

“We trusted each other. We really did. … trusted each other,” Learned said. “There was no sense of competition or competitiveness. I never felt it, anyway from anybody – guest stars either. They all seemed to enjoy being on the set with us …”

According to information shared during the January 2021 interview, the list of guest stars on “The Waltons” is pretty impressive. This includes actors such as Sissy Spacek, Ron Howard, and Jennifer Jason Leigh.

Learned also shared this behind-the-scenes tidbit on the streaming show.

“I think it was a very happy set,” the Olivia Walton actress also said about her time working on “The Waltons.”

John-Boy Actor from ‘The Waltons’ Said Cast Took Their Work ‘Very Seriously’

What prompted Michael Learned to share her feelings on the cast and their mutual respect were comments made by actor Richard Thomas during the virtual interview. He played John-Boy Walton on the show.

“… Look, we all played around a lot, right guys? I mean, we all did,” Thomas said as his castmates nodded in agreement. “It wasn’t just me and John (Ritter). We all played. We all had our thing. But, something about the relationship and the basic seriousness of purpose around doing the work of that show – which I really think started with Michael (Learned) and Ralph (Waite) with their uncompromising sense of honesty as actors and their unwillingness to accept a take that didn’t feel right and true, both of them highly, really, really, set the bar.”

Thomas also said that the cast of “The Waltons” went about the work of making the show “very seriously.”

“That when the camera was rolling – except for the rare times when we couldn’t hold it together – we really did take the work we were doing very seriously,” Thomas said during the interview. “So, it was easy to slip into those serious and meaningful moments because we believed in what we were doing …”

You can watch the cast members of “The Waltons” talk about the show on “Stars in the House” below.