‘The Waltons’ Star Judy Norton Described a Moment She Helped a Theater Co-Star

by Keeli Parkey
(Photo by Bobby Bank/WireImage)

For quite a while now, actress Judy Norton has been sharing behind-the-scenes details of “The Waltons” via her YouTube Channel. She has talked about dangerous stunts, the love interests of her Mary Ellen character, inconsistencies in some episodes, and much, more more.

This actress from “The Waltons” has become an authority on the show. And if you’re a fan of the goings-on on Waltons Mountain, you should check out some of her videos.

During her most recent segment of “Behind the Scenes of ‘The Waltons,'” the now 63-year-old Norton focused on some of the more unusual incidents she experience during her acting career. Not all of them took place on the set of the beloved family television series. One occurred while Norton was acting in a play when she was around 11 or 12 years old.

“So, this was a very small theater. And there was no curtain at the beginning of the show. And the first character – it’s supposed to be like a wake – there’s a coffin open on stage. At the beginning of the show, someone comes in and, you know, does something and then leaves. Then, this actor comes up out of the coffin. … ” Norton recalled. “And I knew – when I did theater as a child – I knew everybody’s lines. I could have recited that show from beginning to end.”

Turns out, it was her ability to learn all the lines that allowed “The Waltons” star to help out the actor who began that play in a coffin.

“So he, and I didn’t realize this actor drank, so I think when he was in there he might have been a little tipsy in there. So, he comes out one night. I’m standing in the wings waiting to make an entrance. And he comes out and he starts talking. And I know immediately that he has forgotten his lines. He’s making stuff up,” “The Waltons” actress also shared.

‘The Waltons’ Star Judy Norton Helped a Co-Star By Refusing to Go On Stage

While the actor was struggling with his lines, the director made a phone call backstage. He told the cast to send Norton onto the stage to help the struggling actor. About the time Norton was going to take the stage, she realized that the actor was getting back on track.

So, the young Judy Norton decided to wait and see what happened. She told herself that if he began forgetting his lines again, she would go out on stage to help. Even with other actors in the cast urging her onto the stage, Norton continued to wait and see how the actor did.

“And I thought, ‘Well if he’s now on track, if I go out there it could throw him off totally again. …'” Judy Norton remembered. “So, I waited. He stayed on track. We did all of act one and then at intermission, the director came backstage and he was like … ‘Why didn’t you go on?'”

The future star of “The Waltons” told the director why she didn’t. He understood and he even told the young Norton, “You’re right.”

You can watch “The Waltons” star Judy Norton talked about how she helped out her theater co-star below. Her story begins around the 1:55 mark of the video.