‘The Waltons’: Michael Learned Once Detailed Sad Nightmare Due to Missing Her Co-stars

by Katie Maloney

Michael Learned really does miss her “extended family” from The Waltons. In fact, she has a recurring nightmare about losing them.

For nine seasons Michael Learned played Olivia “Ma” Walton on The Waltons. During her time with the show, she became one of America’s favorite television mothers. And although she wasn’t related to anyone on The Waltons, she said that her castmates felt like “extended family.” So much so that, after the show ended, Learned had a recurring dream about losing them. During an interview, Michael Learned opened up about her dream.

“Oh, I missed everybody like crazy! I used to have this recurring dream that they were taking the family photograph — every year they’d take a new group photo of us and we’d always complain and groan about it but in my dream, they’d be taking a photograph and they wouldn’t let me be in it!”

I wonder what a dream analyst would say about that? It’s sounds like a case of simple nostalgia.

“I would wake up crying,” said Learned. “Seriously! I really missed everybody. Just a few minutes ago I was looking at a photograph I have of my last day on the set. I was weeping uncontrollably and everyone had their arms around me. To this day we are very much an extended family.”

Michael Learned with fellow castmates of The Waltons. (Photo by CBS via Getty Images)

The Waltons Kids Attended Michael Learned’s Wedding

Michael Learned wasn’t exaggerating when she said that the cast was like family both on and off the set. During an interview, she confirmed the no one could “fake” the kind of love they shared.

“We were very lucky, we really loved each other. I think you can’t fake that kind of thing,” said Learned. “I mean, maybe you can if you’re very good actors but it’s hard because you’re spending 14 hours a day with each other and if you’re not getting along, it’s really rough.”

The group was so close that all of her “kids” from The Waltons attended Learned’s wedding. They even played a special role during the ceremony.

“Someone asked me the other day if I had any pictures of the Walton kids at my own wedding. I wasn’t sure but I looked in my photo album and, of course, there they were!” she said. “During the ceremony when they said, ‘Who gives this woman to this man?’ my kids and the Walton kids all stood up and said, We do!'”