‘The Waltons’: Grandma Actor Ellen Corby Married a Man, But Spent Majority of Life with Her Girlfriend

by Joe Rutland

Ellen Corby, who played Grandma Walton on the CBS family drama “The Waltons,” was married to a man and spent most of her life with a woman.

An article from AmoMama offers some insight into her life away from “The Waltons.”

Corby had a long-term friendship with a woman named Stella Luchetta. While the press reported they were friends, some realized more than friendship might be happening here. Reportedly, the two lived together for more than 50 years.

Now Corby married Francis Corby and reportedly divorced him in 1944. The couple had no children during their marriage.

‘The Waltons’ Star Picked Up Three Emmy Awards, One Golden Globe Award

“The Waltons” star played Esther Walton so splendidly that she won three Emmy Awards and one Golden Globe Award.

Ellen Corby played alongside Will Geer, who portrayed Zebulon Walton, on “The Waltons” until his death in 1978. No one played “Grandpa” Walton again on the show.

As for Corby, she suffered a severe stroke and was forced to leave the Earl Hamner-created drama on Nov. 10, 1976.

Her speech and mobility were severely damaged, but Corby returned to play “Grandma” on a limited basis in the 1977-78 season. She stayed on through the 1978-79 season, portraying her character as someone who is dealing with a stroke, too.

Corby Continued Working On CBS Family Drama Even After Debilitating Stroke

Not even a debilitating stroke could keep her totally away from “The Waltons.” She appeared in five of six reunion TV movies between 1982 and 1997. Ellen Corby died on April 14, 1999, at 87 years old. There is a memorial site for Corby at Forest Lawn Memorial Park in Glendale, Calif.

Besides her work on “The Waltons,” Corby appeared in many TV shows and movies. TV appearances included on shows like “I Love Lucy,” “Peter Gunn,” “Perry Mason,” “Bonanza,” “Lassie,” and “The Andy Griffith Show.”

Movies included “The Glass Bottom Boat,” “The Gunfighter,” “Sabrina,” “The Bachelor and the Bobby-Soxer,” and “Fearless Fagan.”

“The Waltons” will remain a bright beacon of light when it comes to talking about Ellen Corby and her amazing career.

Corby also happened to have a solid relationship with fellow cast member Jon Walmsley, who played Jason Walton.

In a 1974 interview, the actress talked about being with Walmsley.

“Jon has no grandparents,” Corby said. “I have no grandson, so we’ve more or less adopted one another.”

Hamner, in his 2005 biography, “Earl Hamner: From Walton’s Mountain to Tomorrow,” included a photo of Corby and Walmsley at the 1975 Emmy Awards. They attended as “dates.” Corby didn’t go home empty-handed as she picked up an Emmy for Supporting Actress in a Drama Series. A pretty good night for both of them.