‘The Waltons’: One Child Star Said She ‘Harassed’ Her Mom to Get Audition on Show

by Quentin Blount

The Waltons actress Kami Cotler was one of the most well-known child stars of her time. However, her career may have never taken off if she didn’t beg her mom to go audition for the show.

Cotler sat down for an interview with Cinephiled.com back in 2015 where she discusses the time she spent playing young Elizabeth Walton on the show. She also made appearances in the 1971 television film The Homecoming: A Christmas Story. She also took part in numerous other Waltons reunion productions later on.

However, The Homecoming film was made when Kami Cotler was only six years old. Cotler’s interviewer was stunned that a six-year-old could give such a great performance.

“You made The Homecoming when you were six years old, the same age my son is now,” the interviewer says. “In a million years, I couldn’t imagine him taking direction and giving a performance like that.”

Cotler replies saying that even her own mother was surprised she did so well.

“Neither could my mom! Especially since it was the very first thing I ever did,” Cotler explains. “It all started for me when I went to get some photos taken for my grandmother. I was really small for my age and I never stopped talking and the photographer told my mother that he thought I could do commercial work.”

Turns out that the photographer was right. After hearing that comment, the six-year-old Cotler continued to beg her mom to let her pursue the new opportunity.

“According to my mom, I kept harassing her about it until she finally sent the photos we took that day to the agent the photographer had recommended,” she said. “My mom figured I’d do it for a couple of weeks until I got bored.”

‘The Waltons’ Star Enjoyed Her Time Working With Her Acting Family

You would think that as a young kid working with grown up strangers might be a little intimidating. And maybe it was at first for Kami Cotler, but in the end, she grew to think of her acting parents as her “second family.”

The actor that played her television father was Ralph Waite. He played John Walton Sr. on the classic hit show. And as for young Elizabeth’s mother, Olivia Walton, she was portrayed by actress Michael Learned. Cotler says that she grew to have a very close relationship with her television mom.

“Michael is one of the most sensitive and caring people I know. She was always warm to all of the kids,” Cotler said in a 2017 interview with VisionTV.ca. “My own Mom is amazing, but she’s very sensible and grounded. I could go to Michael with more dramatic feelings and she’d be a great listener and support.”