‘The Waltons’: Only Four Actors are Credited in Every Episode of the Show

by Joe Rutland

Only four actors among the large cast appeared in all 212 episodes of “The Waltons” during the show’s original run on CBS.

They are Jon Walmsley [Jason Walton], Mary McDonough [Erin Walton], Eric Scott [Ben Walton], and Kami Cotler [Elizabeth Walton]. All four were among the Walton children whose father was John Walton [Ralph Waite] and mother was Olivia Walton [Michael Learned].

So, who was a close second? Judy Norton [Mary Ellen Walton] and David W. Harper [Jim-Bob Walton] appeared in 211 episodes of “The Waltons” on CBS.

Now some people also want to know how many episodes Richard Thomas played as John-Boy Walton. Thomas appeared on the CBS drama in 124 episodes between 1972-78.

Created by Earl Hamner Jr., who doubled up as the show’s narrator, “The Waltons” covered one family’s life in the Virginia mountains during the Great Depression and World War II.

‘The Waltons’ Star Cotler Left Show Business Behind After Drama Ended

Speaking of Cotler, she decided to get out of show business and move along with her life once “The Waltons” ended.

Cotler, in a 2017 interview with Vision TV, talked about leaving all of the lights and cameras behind in her life.

“It was a natural transition for me,” Cotler said. “I was ready to go to college and didn’t plan to study acting. Having done it for so many years with no training, I had no appreciation for what the training might be, and I was interested in studying history and literature.”

She also said that she was “put off by how precious everyone else thought these jobs were.”

“And I was a teen by then [the show was canceled by CBS in 1981], so the auditioning dynamic was different,” Cotler said.

Judy Norton Admitted That She Was ‘Moved’ By Specific Episode

Norton, who is active on YouTube with her series “Behind the Scenes of ‘The Waltons,'” talked at length about how one episode called “The Gift” affected her.

“A couple of times in the episode, I was moved by the fact that John-Boy and John have a conversation about dying,” Norton of “The Waltons” said. “And the fact, you know, Seth is dying and John talks about how he feels about dying. Later in the episode, Grandpa, Will Geer, has also a conversation about dying.”

Seth Turner is played by Ron Howard, who had starred in “The Andy Griffith Show” as Opie Taylor. Seth is dying of leukemia and made a record for Jason as a gift.

Turner wanted to teach Jason how to play the record before he died on “The Waltons” episode.

Norton went on to say “it was very emotional for me to watch both Ralph and Will talking about dying.”

“And from a standpoint of neither one of them are with us anymore,” Norton added.

Waite died on Feb. 13, 2014, at 85 years old. Geer died on April 22, 1978, at 76 years old.