‘Little House on the Prairie,’ ‘The Waltons,’ and ‘Walker, Texas Ranger’ All Featured This Actor

by Katie Maloney
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Do you recognize this actor who has appeared on three iconic television shows including Little House on the Prairie?

You know those actors who you just see everywhere? You may not even realize where you’ve seen them before, but you recognize their face? It’s not because they aren’t super famous. Instead, it’s because they are so versatile they seem to be able to shapeshift to fit countless different characters. Jonathan Banks is one of those actors.

Banks is best known for his role as Mike Ehrmantraut in the widely popular series Breaking Bad and Better Call Saul. But before he hit it big on those shows, Banks appeared in several of our favorite classic tv shows including, The Waltons, Little House on the Prairie, and Walker, Texas Ranger. How do you land roles on each of those iconic television shows? You just have to have to be one of those special types of actors.

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Actor Jonathan Banks in 2015 (Photo by Paul Archuleta/FilmMagic)

Here’s a look at each of Jonathan Banks’s roles on the show.

When Jonathan Banks Appeared on The Waltons

Jonathan Banks joined The Waltons in 1979 for episode 12 of season eight called “The Wager.” During the episode, Banks played Jeb Sanders, a trouble-making dock worker.

At the start of the episode, Jeb attempts to fool Mary Ellen by complaining about a back injury so that he can switch to an assembly line job. Mary Ellen calls his bluff and tells him that he’s perfectly fine to continue his job at the dock. He gets upset and recruits Mary Ellen’s co-worker J.D. to try to force Mary Ellen to give Jeb a sit-down job. But Mary Ellen gets her revenge at the end of the episode when she beats Jeb during a big town race.

When He Landed a Role On Little House on The Prairie

A year after his appearance on The Waltons, Banks landed a role on Little House on The Prairie in 1980. Banks appears in season six’s 16th episode titled, “Darkness if My Friend.” During the episode, Banks plays a man named Jed who is an escaped convict. This is one of the more riveting episodes of Little House on the Prairie.

During the episode, Laura and Mary are spending the night at the Blind School when a trio of escaped felons break into the school and hold the girls hostage. (Jed is one of those felons). During a fight between the group, one of the felons is injured so another convict aggressively instructs Laura to go find the doctor but he threatens that terrible things will happen to her and the school if she tells anyone about the felons on her way to the doctor.

Laura decides to take matters into her own hands and runs home to tell her father what’s happening. Pa Ingalls returns to the school with her posing as the doctor, which works until the actual doctor shows up. Tense moments ensue but the Ingalls win the upper hand. And all is right again in the Little House on the Prairie world.

When Jonathan Played Shelby Valentine On Walker, Texas Ranger

Over a decade after acting in Little House on the Prairie, Jonathan Banks appeared on another classic TV show, Walker, Texas Ranger. Banks appeared during the season two episode titled “The Reunion.”

During the episode, Alex reunites with two former friends when they come to town for a shooting competition. Alex joins forces with one of his retired Ranger friends to find a professional killer, Shelby Valentine (Banks).

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