‘The Waltons’: Judy Norton Explains Another Instance of ‘Keeping It in the Family’ on the Series

by Clayton Edwards

Fans of The Waltons remember Judy Norton as the oldest Walton girl, Mary Ellen. She was on the series for its entire run. Then, she was in the films as well as the reunion specials. So, she carries a deep connection to the show. After all, she was a big part of one of the most iconic TV dramas in history. Why wouldn’t she want to hold on to that?

Currently, she hosts a web series in which she talks about The Waltons. The series is called Behind the Scenes with Judy Norton. As the name suggests, Judy Norton takes time to tell stories from her life during the show. Sometimes, she talks about what it was like to shoot certain episodes or how they made scenes work. Other times, she discusses her life off the set during the show’s run.

In an episode of Behind the Scenes with Judy Norton from February of this year, Norton talked about “The Obsession.” The season seven episode dealt with Mary Ellen’s addiction to pills. Her life and addiction got out of control fast. There was plenty to talk about in reference to the episode. However, as with most of her deep=dives, Norton gave some information that wasn’t directly related to the episode. Instead, it was an interesting tidbit about how The Waltons showrunners like to “keep things in the family.”

Judy Norton on Keeping It in the Family

While talking about “The Obsession,” Judy Norton revealed that there were two instances of “keeping it in the family,” in the episode. The first involved the director, Gwen Arner. She was married to Donald Moffat. Moffat was an actor and made an appearance in a season five episode of The Waltons called “John’s Crossroad.”

About this, Judy Norton said, “We did kind of keep It in the family at times. It was always wonderful to have people who were related or had worked on different shows for the same company.” The familiarity, Norton said, led to the set of The Waltons being a comfortable one on which to work.

Judy Norton pointed out another instance of keeping it in the family later in her breakdown of “The Obsession.” The subplot of the episode centered around Yancy and Sissy. The pair were married on the show. But, during “The Obsession,” they ended up separating temporarily. However, the actors Robert Donner and Cissy Wellman were married in real life, according to Norton.