‘The Waltons’ Star Michael Learned Emotionally Detailed Physically Abusive Relationship Years After it Occured

by Joe Rutland

“The Waltons” star Michael Learned is an example of someone overcoming obstacles in life, including physically abusive relationships.

Learned talked about dealing with that type of partner in a 2017 interview in The Daily Mail. She bluntly remembers times physical violence took place.

“He put a chokehold on me,” she said. “I called the cops once, but I decided not to press charges. I should have.”

Learned Of ‘The Waltons’ Holds No Anger Toward Man

Learned, who played Olivia Walton on the CBS family drama, said she no longer harbors anger toward that man. She added that the individual has changed and renounced his violent ways.

“I did leave at one point, but there was no one to turn to other than friends,” she said. “There were no 12-step programs for domestic violence.”

Learned is a recovering alcoholic and got sober, she has said, thanks to “The Waltons” costar Ralph Waite.

As for the domestic violence, she said things changed when Learned realized a change was needed.

“When I learned that it’s not OK to turn the other cheek and let somebody abuse me, I began to get strong,” she said. 

Learned Didn’t Want To Do Another Series, But Did

After playing the Walton matriarch for so many seasons, the last thing Learned wanted to do was another series. But show producers of “Nurse” came calling soon after her time on the CBS show ended.

Learned was hesitant to do yet another show where “I’ll be holding people’s hands and looking compassionate and empathetic.” That’s not what the “Nurse” producers wanted. They put it all in one word: “Gritty.”

Upon hearing their explanation about the show, Learned reportedly said to them, “OK, well then make me an offer I can’t refuse.”

The deal? “Nurse” would be filmed in New York, where Learned lived at the time. She wanted to stay there and not travel back and forth from New York to Los Angeles.

“Nurse” ran on CBS for two seasons. In fact, Learned won an Emmy Award for “Outstanding Lead Actress in a Drama Series” in 1982.