‘The Waltons’: Judy Norton Reveals What it Was Like Meeting the Real-Life Mary Ellen

by Katie Maloney

Did Judy Norton ever meet the real-life Mary Ellen on The Waltons set?

Undoubtedly, The Waltons family is iconic. The actors who played the family members on the show felt like real-life brothers and sisters. So, it’s hard to imagine that there is a whole other set of Waltons out there. In fact, the entire show is based on creator and producer Earl Hamner Jr.’s family. So, what would it be like if the actors who played The Waltons on the show met the real-life Hamner family?

Judy Norton, who played Mary Ellen on the show revealed the details of meeting the real Walton family during an episode of her video series, Behind the Scenes with Judy Norton.

“Earl was around the set all the time because he was one of the producers, he was a story editor. He was just a part of the show in many aspects,” said Norton. “And his family came to visit the set at one time or another.”

One of the most memorable visits for Norton was when the real-life Mary Ellen came to The Waltons set. But her actual name wasn’t Mary Ellen.

“Marian Hamner Hawks, who I portrayed, was the real-life Mary Ellen,” said Norton. “She came to the set a couple of times and I got to spend some time with her.”

Hawks was so impressed by Norton’s portrayal on the show that she even gave the actress a little keepsake.

“And she was lovely. She gave me this wonderful locket that I had for many years and still have,” said Norton. “So, I really enjoyed her company and I think a number of the real Hamner siblings came to the set.”

Judy Norton talks about meeting the real-life Mary Ellen Walton

Judy Norton Likes To Be Alone While Watching Episodes Of ‘The Waltons’

After nine seasons on The Waltons, Judy Norton has accumulated quite the portfolio. And just like anyone who’s found success, it can be nice for Norton to go back and rewatch episodes occasionally. However, she revealed during another episode of her video series that she rarely watches the show with other people.

“I don’t like watching The Waltons myself ever, with other people,” said Norton. “So, if I’m watching my work, I tend to want to watch it alone. It’s just, to this day, not easy for me to sit and watch myself. So I get self-conscious if there are other people around, or if the lights are on, or if people are talking or commenting. So that’s just one of my quirks.”