‘The Waltons’: Why Mary Ellen Actress Judy Norton Gets ‘Moved to Tears’ By John-Boy’s Speech in ‘The Graduation’

by Keeli Parkey

Her most recent in-depth look at an episode of “The Waltons” brought out many emotions for actress Judy Norton. She played Mary Ellen Walton in the beloved family drama.

Her latest “Behind the Scenes of ‘The Waltons'” video was focused on the season two episode titled, “The Graduation.”

It was during this episode that John-Boy Walton (Richard Thomas) graduated from high school. One of the most moving moments from this episode comes when John-Boy stands before his classmates, teachers, friends, and family to give his graduation speech.

It’s a very moving moment in the show. And it’s a moment that still brings up a lot of emotions for Judy Norton. Her emotions were very evident as she discusses what John-Boy shared in his speech.

“I was personally moved to tears as I listened to John-Boy’s speech about, you know, what it took for these children, these now adults, to get through high school and to have this opportunity, as John-Boy does, to go off to college. And what it took in terms of the love of family, and then the sacrifice,” Norton shared.

“The Waltons” actress then lets her emotions come to the surface in the video posted on July 8, 2021.

“And, speaking about his parents and the … See, choking up. And, the winter coats his mother went without so that he could have books,” an emotional Judy Norton said.

John-Boy’s Speech in This Episode of ‘The Waltons’ Reminded Judy Norton of the Sacrifices Parents Make for Their Children

What John-Boys shares in this episode of “The Waltons” served as a reminder of what so many parents do for their children.

“It just brings to mind, really, all the sacrifices that parents make on behalf of their children and how much, if we’re smart we appreciate and recognize that,” Norton said.

The Mary Ellen actress also said this episode of “The Waltons” has “a beautiful message.”

“So, a beautiful message in, I think a lovely episode. And I’m going to sign off now because I’m a mess,” she joked.

Watching John-Boy give his moving speech in “The Graduation” episode of “The Waltons” was a perfect reminder for Judy Norton about what made the series so great.

“It’s funny, you think that I watch all these episodes, I was part of them, and yet, they’re so beautifully done, beautifully written, directed, acted that I can just sit back and be an audience,” Norton said. “And, I am moved by the stories that were created and the way they were crafted and edited and brought to life.”

She was also moved by her direct connection to “The Waltons.”

“And also then, by my own personal memories of everything that went on behind it,” she also said.

You can watch actress Judy Norton talk about “The Waltons” below. She shares her emotions about John-Boy’s graduation speech around the 10:45 mark of the video.