‘The Waltons’: Mary Ellen Actress Judy Norton Reveals One Missed Dinner Table Moment in ‘The Car’ Episode

by Clayton Edwards

Judy Norton played Mary Ellen on The Waltons. She was there for the entire series Then, she came back for the made-for-TV movies. So, it is safe to say that Norton has a wealth of information about the series. Currently, she shares that information with her fans.

Judy Norton hosts a web series on her YouTube channel. In that web series, she pulls back the curtain and gives the world a behind-the-scenes look at The Waltons. She shares stories of her life on the set as well as off of it. In some episodes, she looks at a single episode. In those installments, she gives her audience tidbits of information that they won’t find anywhere else. At the same time, she shares her personal perspective on several aspects of the episode. Other times, Judy Norton will break down broader topics related to the show. For instance, she recently spoke at length about the food on the series. Every now and then, Norton compiles questions from her audience and answers them.

In a recent installment of her web series, Judy Norton broke down the season two episode, “The Car.” During that installment, Norton talked about a dinner table moment many Waltons viewers might have missed.

Judy Norton on the Missed Dinner Table Moment

Not long ago, Judy Norton talked about the food on The Waltons. In that installment, she talked about how important it was to be careful about how much they ate in the wide shot that showed the entire family. This is because they would have to match the same actions when the cameras cut to a close-up shot. Norton says that little continuity errors could be very distracting for some viewers. The smallest mistake could take some people out of the moment.

We can see an instance in “The Car,” where they failed to match things between two shots. However, it is a minor thing and only the viewers with the sharpest eyes could have caught it. Judy Norton noticed it though.

She calls attention to the moment in the dinner scene in which Grandpa Walton, played by Will Geer, has a bowl of peas in his hand. Then, a split second later, the same bowl of peas is sitting in the middle of the table.  Judy Norton jokingly asks, “How did those peas get from Will’s hand to the table?” Then, she adds, “There were not two bowls of peas. We never saw two bowls of peas.”

Judy Norton explained that those shots were filmed at different times. So, no one remembered that Geer had the bowl in his hand at the time. So, this led to a minor error in continuity. However, she said there’s a good chance that no one noticed. But, now that you know, you’ll probably see it the next time you watch this classic episode.