‘The Waltons’: Judy Norton Says Kissing Scenes Were ‘Technical,’ Here’s Why

by Madison Miller
Photo by: David Livingston/Getty Images

While TV shows have a way of making romantic scenes seem simple and natural, it’s a lot more technical than it seems.”The Waltons” was a popular drama series that took place during the Great Depression and was on throughout the 1970s. Throughout the series run, the Walton family had plenty of romantic developments.

In her YouTube series about the show, Judy Norton talks about “The Waltons” and the science of kissing scenes. She explained a specific scene in which Erin Walton (played by Mary Beth McDonough) kisses Ashley Longworth Jr. (played by Jonathan Frakes). The episode title is “The Legacy.”

Kissing Scenes on ‘The Waltons’

“There was a scene where Ashley kisses Erin and Miss Emily oversees that. Mary said, in order for them to do the shot, the camera panned. So it started on Erin and Ashley kissing and then it pans over to reveal Miss Emily seeing that and getting very upset and running off,” Norton said.

It can be hard to get a sense of what’s going on in the midst of a kissing scene.

“Well, because Mary and Jonathan were kissing, they couldn’t really tell what the camera was doing and when the camera had panned off of them. So basically they just had to keep kissing until someone said it was kinda all clear,” she continued.

This meant that someone from the crew had to literally pop in to interrupt their moment. Although the moment is romantic to viewers, actors learn to deal with it as professionally as possible.

“Kissing scenes were always interesting because there’s a lot of technical aspects to doing a kissing scene and getting the focus right, the light, and everything. So sometimes it can be very humourous … You learn to have a sense of humor about the whole thing and a lot of breath mints handy,” Norton said.

Judy Norton’s character, Mary-Ellen Walton, had several romantic interests during the series. She is married twice — Curtis Willard is her ex-husband and then she marries Jonesy Jones. She also fell in love with David Spencer, an intern at the hospital she worked at, and the two were briefly engaged.

Jonathan Frakes Career Life

While fans of “The Waltons” known Jonathan Frakes as the brief romantic interest of Erin Walton, he has had a successful career in television since.

In fact, he is best known for his portrayal of Commander William Riker in the cult-classic TV series, “Star Trek: The Next Generation.” He both directed and starred in “Star Trek: First Contact” as well as “Star Trek: Insurrection.”

He has been cited as a director for over 70 TV episodes over the years. Most of which are “Star Trek” and “The Orville.” He narrated “Lee and Grant,” a History Channel documentary, and also hosted “Beyond Belief: Fact or Fiction.”

“The Waltons” was one of his first television roles. However, he also had brief parts in “The Dukes of Hazzard,” “The Twilight Zone,” “Charlie’s Angels,” and “Matlock,” amongst others.