Through her series “Behind the Scenes of ‘The Waltons’,” actress Judy Norton has become a go-to authority on the making of the popular family drama.
In her latest installment, which was released on June 14, 2021, the Mary Ellen Walton actress discusses the filming of the two-part episode, “The Conflict.” For this, she reached out to the episode’s director, Ralph Senensky. He responded to her in writing and she shared his answers on her YouTube Channel.
According to Norton, fans have reached out to her for behind-the-scenes details of this episode. One thing they wanted to know was how one of the show’s stars and a guest star interacted with one another.
I” have also been asked about Beulah Bondi and Will Geer because, evidently, they were on different sides of those (United States) Senate hearings back in the 1950s, when Will Geer was blacklisted,” Norton said.
Geer played Grandpa Zeb Walton on the show. He was blacklisted because he would not go before the House Committee on Un-American Affairs and testify. This was during a time period that is known as the McCarthy era.
Beulah Bondi played Martha Corinne Walton in “The Conflict” episode in 1974, according to IMDb. She also returned two years later as the same character in “The Pony Cart.”
“I do not know the history of Beulah Bondi,” Norton said. “Some of you may. But, I had been asked if there was tension between Will and Beulah.”
For Answer to Fans’ Question About Geer and Bondi, Norton Turned to ‘The Waltons’ Director
According to Judy Norton, she was not aware of any tension between Will Geer and Beulah Bondi when they worked together on “The Waltons.” She reached out to director Ralph Senensky for his memories on the matter.
“So, I asked Ralph,” Norton said. “I never noticed anything, but I wasn’t looking for it.”
According to what Senensky had to share, there was no drama between Geer and Bondi on the set.
“I asked Ralph Senensky and he said, ‘I did not know at the time I filmed of the past history between Will Geer, Buelah Bondi, and the Senate hearings,'” Norton read from Senensky’s submitted answers. “‘There was absolutely no tension between them on the set. Will was the total professional – as he always was.'”
Sadly, Will Geer passed away in 1978 while “The Waltons” was still on the air. The Frankfort, Indiana, native was 76 years old at the time of his death. The show aired from 1972 to 1981.
Beulah Bondi was born in 1889. She passed away at the age of 91 in 1981. Her career included roles in such films as “It’s a Wonderful Life” and “Mr. Smith Goes to Washington.”
If you would like to watch Judy Norton talk about “The Waltons,” you can do so below. Her comments about Will Geer and Beulah Bondi begin around the 5:25 mark of the video.