‘The Waltons’: Judy Norton Reveals Behind the Scenes Secrets of Filming ‘The Whirlwind’ Window Scene

by Katie Maloney

Do you remember the episode of The Waltons when Mary Ellen and Jonesy fell in love? Judy Norton reveals secret details from the episode.

During the episode titled “The Whirlwind,” Mary Ellen meets Arlington Wescott “Jonesy” Jones. His car breaks down and he has to stay with the family. During his stay, he makes breakfast and fixes things around the house. He and Marry Ellen have a whirlwind romance until his car is fixed and he’s free to leave. Mary Ellen discovers that Jonesy may leave. And she gets upset and runs into the house into her room, locking Jonesy out. So, he grabs a ladder and climbs onto the roof to the window outside of Mary Ellen’s window. During a behind-the-scenes video, actress Judy Norton, who played Mary Ellen on The Waltons, shared insider secrets about how the crew filmed the scene.

“The wider shots with the ladder were shot on the backlot of the exterior of the house. When you have the close-ups of me in the window and him in the window. These were shot in the studio,” said Norton. “In order for them to get the shots of this close-up of Jonesy, he had to be a little further away from the camera. So where he’s actually like this [leaning on the window] his arms are just out of frame, you can barely see them. He’s pretending to lean on a windowsill because he couldn’t actually be close enough to actually prop there.”

Norton added that most actors on The Waltons had to learn show business tricks like these.

“So, sometimes as actors, we had to imagine things like that. Or cheat them a little bit to order to get the shots,” said Norton.

Judy Norton Had to Stand on an Apple Box When She Did Scenes With Jonesy on The Waltons

Pretending to lean on a windowsill wasn’t the only trick the crew used during the episode. Norton also talked about how The Waltons crew handled the height difference between her and the actor who played Jonesy, Richard Gilliland.

“Richard was very tall. He was like 6’4 and I’m only 5’5. So, at some points during the episode when we’re standing side-by-side and I’m not wearing heels of any kind, you can really see the height difference,” said Norton. “I do recall, some of those times, because of the height difference, they would actually put me on top of what we called an apple box. And that with the framing made us a little closer in height. It was always funny to do scenes on a wooden box.”