‘The Waltons’: Elizabeth Actor Kami Cotler Revealed Her Most Important Moment with Ralph Waite

by Keeli Parkey

Actress Kami Cotler was only a young child when she was cast on “The Waltons.” So, it’s not surprising that the actor who played her television father left an impression on her.

That actor’s name was Ralph Waite. He played John Walton Sr. – the patriarch of the Walton family on the classic television show.

It was during an interview with VisionTV.ca in 2017 that Cotler talked about her favorite moment with Ralph Waite. She was asked about the “impactful moments” she had off-screen with Waite by the publication.

In response, she talked about Waite’s love of dancing. Kami Cotler also said that her most memorable moments with Ralph Waite on “The Waltons” took place on camera.

“Funnily enough, some of the more impactful memories of Ralph were on screen. There was an episode where Elizabeth is going to a dance and when she comes downstairs, daddy dances a waltz with her,” Cotler reportedly said. “It turned out Ralph was an amazing dancer. I had no idea how magical waltzing could be until that moment. Watching it brought Michael to tears, because her own father used to dance with her like that.”

Kami Colter Also Enjoyed Working with the Actress Who Played Her Television Mother on ‘The Waltons’

Also during the VisionTV.ca interview, Cotler talked about the actress who played her television mother. That actress’s name was Michael Learned. She played matriarch Olivia Walton on the “The Waltons.” In fact, Cotler would go to Learned with some feelings she didn’t think she could share with her real-life mother.

“… Michael is one of the most sensitive and caring people I know. She was always warm to all of the kids,” Cotler said. “My own Mom is amazing, but she’s very sensible and grounded. I could go to Michael with more dramatic feelings and she’d be a great listener and support.”

According to the VisionTV article, Kami Cotler’s acting career came to an end after “The Waltons.” She chose to leave the industry. Her field of choice after that was education.

At the time the 2017 article was published, Cotler was the acting principal at ECMS-Gardena. She was also the Director of Strategic Initiatives for Environmental Charter Schools.

Ralph Waite Left Other Positive Impressions On Actors Other Than Kami Cotler

In addition to leaving an impression on actress Kami Cotler, actor Ralph Waite also had a positive influence on actress Michael Learned. In fact, Waite reportedly helped Learned get sober.

During a July 2019 interview with FoxNews, Learned said that she had been struggling with alcohol abuse before she was cast on “The Waltons.” After she got the role, she and Waite talked about the issue. He suggested she go to a support group meeting.

“Well, Ralph got me sober,” Learned told FoxNews.com “I said, ‘I’ll go and be supportive for you.’ Because he said, ‘I’m going to AA.’ And I said, ‘Oh, that’s wonderful. You really need it.’ He grabbed me by the shoulders, and he said, ‘I think you should come.’ And I’m like, ‘Me?’”