‘The Waltons’: Why Mary Ellen Actress Judy Norton Feels ‘Honored’ to be a Part of the Series

by Katie Maloney

How does it feel to be a part of “The Waltons,” a show that has endured for decades after it aired?

Certainly, “The Waltons” is an iconic show. Not only was the show a massive hit during its nine-season run, but it’s also still wildly popular today. “The Waltons” are still referenced in television shows, movies and other pop-culture arenas today. In fact, the show is even popular outside of Earth! During an episode of her video series, “Behind-the-Scenes With Judy Norton,” Norton talked about a group of astronauts who recited the goodnight sequence from “The Waltons.”

“It’s very gratifying. A number of years back, the cast was asked to do a question and answer panel at the Smithsonian in Washington, D.C. That was quite an honor. To see that ‘The Waltons’ have become a part of pop culture,” said Norton. “And ‘Goodnight John-Boy‘ is something that people everywhere can relate to. During one of the space missions, there was a newspaper headline or something that said ‘Astronauts Say Goodnight Waltons-Style.'”

So, how does Judy Norton feel about literal universal fame?

“I don’t even know how to describe it. I feel like no matter what I do with my life, having been part of this show, it’s history. I’m part of television history, that’s quite something,” said Norton. “I don’t even know how to put it into perspective but it’s quite an honor to be a part of something this enduring.”

Judy Norton talks about “The Waltons”

Judy Norton Says That She Still Isn’t Sure How To Live With ‘The Waltons’ Fame

During another episode of her video series, Norton talked about an awkward moment she experienced while on a cruise with her co-star from “The Waltons,” Mary McDonough. The two decided that she just wanted to relax while on the cruise so they didn’t tell anyone they were on one of the most famous television shows of all time.

And, for a while, it worked. The two sat at their assigned meal-time dinner tables and made friends with their fellow cruise-goers. Then, one day a group of people recognized Norton and McDonough. Word spread quickly and soon the entire ship knew that they were onboard with two celebrities. Norton said that their table mates were actually upset that the two actresses didn’t reveal their identities sooner.

“Mary and I had decided that we didn’t want to make a big deal about being on ‘The Waltons.’ This was still at the height of the show’s popularity. And there’s an awkward thing about telling people,” said Norton. “There were a couple of people at our table who were very upset with us that they didn’t know and that we didn’t tell them. So it was sort of a no-win situation. And I to this day don’t know what the best thing to do is in circumstances like that.”