“The Waltons” had a lot of interesting characters as part of the show, including the Baldwin sisters. A funny thing, though, happened.
According to an article from MeTV, actresses Mary Jackson and Helen Kleeb were auditioning for the same role as Miss Mamie. The Baldwin sisters were known to have a special recipe that ended up being liquor. They were a sight to behold on Walton’s Mountain.
“The Waltons” creator Earl Hamner was looking for actresses to fulfill the two roles.
Hamner was joined by show producer Robert Jacks in the search for the right ones to play the Baldwin Sisters.
Kleeb gave her agent a number to reach her, yet the agent called that number. Kleeb was gone and nowhere to be found.
Her agent, though, found the role of Miss Mamie open.
‘The Waltons’ Creator, Producer Sought To Fill Role and Jackson, Kleeb Were Seeking
That agent talked with Hamner and Jacks of “The Waltons.” She insisted they wait to see Kleeb before making a final decision.
Jackson happened to get a call about the Miss Mamie role. Both Jackson and Kleeb showed up to read for that role. Jackson and Kleeb were both in line for that role, but Jackson didn’t like the situation.
“I was rather aggravated because the casting director had said I couldn’t play comedy,” Jackson said in a 1977 interview with The Ithaca Journal. “After working with people like Mary Tyler Moore, Shirley Booth and Bert Lahr, I was rather insulted. I’m a professional and knew the part of Emily was right for me.”
Actress Jackson Ultimately Picked Up Role She Auditioned For and Kleeb Got Other Role
Well, they both read for the Miss Mamie role. What happened is that Jackson ultimately got the part of Miss Emily, and Kleeb joined “The Waltons” as Miss Mamie.
“I knew I was right for Emily, but they had me read for Mamie,” Jackson said. “When I got the call that I had got the part, I still thought it was Mamie and that the studio people were confusing me with someone else. When they finally told me I was Emily, I asked who was Mamie, and they said Helen Kleeb. It’s the first time I ever got a part I didn’t read for.”
“The Waltons” was one of the 1970s popular dramas.
One of the most memorable characters, though, was John-Boy Walton, played by Richard Thomas.
What types of roles is the movie, TV, and Broadway actor looking for these days?
Thomas talked about it with Closer Weekly.
“In terms of television, it’s always what looks interesting,” he said. “[I like to] keep as much variety as possible in the roles. In theater, hopefully, there will be new plays by living playwrights offering surprising art soon.”