According to The Waltons creator Earl Hamner Jr., Grandma Walton actress Ellen Corby was also a grandma figure to the children on the set.
Earl Hamner Jr. was a television writer and producer who is best remembered for his work in the 1970s and 1980s. He created two long-running and wildly successful shows in The Waltons and Falcon Crest. And in a past sit-down interview with the INSP network, Hamner talked about one of his cast members from The Waltons — Ellen Corby.
Corby is without a doubt best known for her role as Esther “Grandma” Walton on the classic CBS series. After all, she won three Emmy Awards for her portrayal of the character along with three more nominations for Best Supporting Actress.
But for how great of a grandmother as she was on camera, it turns out she was also a typical grandmother off-camera as well. Hamner says the atmosphere on the set was exactly like that of one big extended family. And in his interview with INSP, he told the story of how Ellen Corby used to scold some of the child actors on set.
“They thought of themselves as brothers and sisters,” Hamner explained. “And I’ll never forget Ellen Corby, the grandmother, who off-camera was grandma, as well, I remember her very well shouting to one of the children, ‘Stop that running on the set! You’re gonna fall over a cable and kill yourself!'”
‘The Waltons’ Actress Ellen Corby Died in April 1999
The Waltons star had a “Grandma” type of impact on everyone who watched the show growing up. There is no question about that. As a result, fans of classic television felt like they had lost their own grandmother after learning that Ellen Corby had passed away 22 years ago. She died on April 14, 1999, at a hospital in Woodland Hills, California.
Despite finding popularity after her role as Grandma on The Waltons, she eventually had to say goodbye to the cast and the fans after she suffered a stroke in the late ’70s. However, she wouldn’t let that be the end of her acting career.
In fact, she went on to appear on the show afterward. In addition, she also made appearances in The Waltons reunion movies once the series had concluded. Corby’s very last television role came in 1997 when she starred in A Waltons Easter.
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