‘The Waltons’ Star Michael Learned Reveals Hilarious Favorite Memory From the Classic Series

by Joe Rutland
(Photo by Kevin Winter/Getty Images)

For actress Michael Learned, her role as Olivia Walton on The Waltons offers a chance to have a memory or two from her long career. The role did establish her as an actress who could definitely turn a dramatic scene on its shoulders quite well. But if you asked the classic TV star, what would her favorite memory from the beloved show be all these years later?

‘The Waltons’ Actress Michael Learned Holds Fond Memory of Actor Will Geer

“Honestly, Will Geer’s a–,” she said about the actor who played Zeb Walton, the grandfather. “He was a mooner. And he wasn’t the only one, which made us all laugh. I have always wondered why some men like to do that. Maybe it was a ‘70s thing? Beyond that there are so many wonderful memories of long hours and great moments, it is just too hard to narrow it down.” We get more from Fox News.

While Geer’s butt is mentioned, there’s more to the story. Apparently, both Geer and even Richard Thomas, who played endearing writer and sometimes dreamer John-Boy Walton, would partake in mooning. It was kind of a thing in the 1970s as people would go near others, drop their pants, and show their bare backsides. They apparently loved to show fans visiting the set their other sides.

Anyway, the memory of Will Geer holds a soft spot in Learned’s heart. During the show’s run, sadly, Geer died. They never replaced the actor and never had another actor play the grandfather character from The Waltons. But his memory would be brought to light in some scenes involving Ellen Corby, who played the grandmother role.

Actors Also Teamed Up For TV Movie Back In 1970s

One of the other pieces of trivia about Geer and Learned involves a TV movie titled Hurricane. It hit the small screen back in 1974 and had both actors playing hurricane trackers. While it sounds a bit hokey to some, there was some merit in having this type of flick back then. Big-screen movies about disasters (think “The Towering Inferno,” for instance) were big money-makers. Simply taking the premise and putting some TV polish on it makes a little sense. That’s circa the 1970s, too.

One of the most important elements of The Waltons was the focus on family. It’s definitely something that you cannot miss at all. Learned talks about this in an interview, too. “And you know, it’s touted now as if everyone was huggy, kissy, and perfect, but it wasn’t like that,” she said. “We had a lot of imperfections as a family, and I think that’s what people relate to.” You better believe people watching at home could relate to not being perfect in their own lives.