‘The Waltons’: Mary Ellen Actress Remembers Making a ‘Home Movie’ With Co-Stars On-Set

by Katie Maloney
Photo: Bettmann / Contributor via Getty

What did “The Waltons” kids do when they weren’t filming the show? They filmed home movies.

Certainly, the cast of “The Waltons” lived incredible lives. Although many of their families tried to keep things as normal as possible, there was no denying that the kids were Hollywood superstars. Nevertheless, the kids still went to school and enjoyed the pastimes that most kids enjoy – including making home movies. During an episode of her video series, “Behind-the-Scenes with Judy Norton,” Norton talked about the time she and her castmates created a film of their own on the Warner Brothers Studio backlot.

“One of the things that I particularly remember is there was a point in time where the kids got together and created a sort of a little short film. I believe it was called ‘The Phantom of the Studio,'” said Norton. “And someone had a camera, one of the kids. And we wrote a script. And we ran around the studio loft and filmed it. I don’t remember who ended up with it – one of the boys. So, I’ll have to look into that. We had a lot of fun doing that.”

Judy Norton talks about making home movies with the cast of “The Waltons”

Norton Said There Was One On Set Restriction That ‘The Waltons’ Kids Struggled With

There wasn’t much to complain about starring on an iconic television show. Judy Norton said that, for the most part, every aspect of the kids’ lives on set was fun. However, there was one restriction that the kids struggled with – keeping their hair and makeup tidy in between scenes. Luckily, the kids managed to film their entire home movie without getting in trouble for messing up their hair and makeup. But, Norton said, that wasn’t always the case.

“What was tricky was that once you were in hair and makeup for the day, you couldn’t mess around too much and really destroy your hair and makeup. So, within reason. And if you were in wardrobe you had to make sure you didn’t get your clothes too dirty,” said Norton. “So we had a few restrictions there. And it was tougher on the younger kids.”

Nevertheless, Norton said that being a famous actor on a well-known television show was pretty much all-day fun.

“But, you know filming was fun for us too. So, the whole day was kind of like playing,” said Norton. “Although there was work and it was hard work and it was tiring at times and it was monotonous at times. But I still loved it and I think we all did.”