‘The Waltons’: Why Paul Mann Actor Radames Pera is ‘Grateful’ for His Co-Stars’ Friendship

by John Jamison

Classic TV fans will recognize Radames Pera from his role of Young Caine on the 1970s series “Kung Fu.” The young actor went on to play a small character arc on “Little House on the Prairie” a few years later. Before these opportunities came along, however, Pera played a character named Paul Mann on an episode of “The Waltons.” And he remembers the experience fondly.

In 1972, Radames Pera received a call from his agent. There was a small role on “The Waltons” available, and he had an interview for the part. The character was a 13-year old German-Jewish boy who fled persecution to Walton’s Mountain with his family. Pera won the role. And even though it was only for a single episode, there was a fair amount of work involved.

The episode was titled “The Ceremony.” In it, Radames Pera’s character experiences his Bar Mitzvah. Apparently, the ceremony was entirely accurate. And it required Pera to do the same preparation that a real Jewish boy would have done.

In a video posted to YouTube by Judy Norton, who played Mary Ellen Walton, Pera recalled his experience on the show. He had great things to say about his fellow cast members. And despite the brief time he spent on “The Waltons,” he remains friends with much of the cast to this day.

“First of all, it was a real feather in my cap to be able to work on ‘The Waltons,'” Pera said. “The other fun part, of course, was to meet all of you and work with you. And of course, as is evidenced by this recording, we are friends to this day.”

‘The Waltons’ Guest Star Called Friendship With Co-Stars A ‘Gift’

Radames Pera isn’t just friends with Judy Norton, either. In the video, he recalled a memory from years after his time on “The Waltons.”

He gave a shout-out to Eric Scott, the actor who played Ben Walton on the show. Scott helped Radames Pera remove some troublesome ficus plants that were growing into the foundations of his house. He even brought his son along, and they got to work. Pera used the story as an example of how kind “The Waltons” co-stars were to him.

“But anyway, that’s the kind of friendship I have with you all to this day. And I am extremely grateful for that. The gift of having worked on ‘The Waltons.’ And, of course, just later as I was doing ‘Kung Fu,’ continued to do ‘Kung Fu,’ you guys were always extremely warm to me on the set.”