‘The Waltons’: Erin Actress Mary Elizabeth McDonough Wore Her Mother’s Wedding Dress for On-Screen Wedding

by Madison Miller
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Throughout the show’s nine seasons, many of “The Waltons” characters found love to some degree.

From John-Boy to Ma and Pa Walton to several others, the rural Virginia Great Depression family still found love.

Mary Elizabeth McDonough played Erin Walton on the show. Unfortunately, many of her romances end up being ill-fated. They die or end up being less-than-stellar people. Eventually, she meets Paul Northridge and the two get married. McDonough got to have her very own personal connection to the on-screen wedding as well.

“The gown that Mary wore when she married Paul was actually her own mother’s wedding gown that she used for that episode so that was pretty special for her … obviously Mary’s gown was never used again,” Judy Norton said in a YouTube video.

Erin and Paul end up having three kids together: Susan, Amanda, and Peter. Although it’s Erin’s most successful relationship, it doesn’t really end too spectacularly. It is later revealed during one of the reunion movies that the two got divorced because Paul was unfaithful. She gets her teaching certificate and becomes a school principal in a “The Waltons” movie later on.

As for Mary Elizabeth McDonough, she has been married twice. She married Rob Wickstrom in 1988 and the two divorced in 1996. She has been with her current husband since 2011. McDonough has a career in writing now. She wrote “Christmas on Honeysuckle Lane,” which was actually made into a Hallmark Channel movie in 2018.

Cast Real-Life Romances from ‘The Waltons’

While some of the relationships on the show were tragic and doomed, some of the cast ended up falling in love during their time on the show.

Ralph Waite and Michael Learned were lovers on-screen on “The Waltons” and remained close their whole life. It was never romantic, however, despite what they two may or may not have felt.

“We had a deep love for each other that we would have ruined if we had taken that extra step, and we didn’t. We never did … thought about it, but we didn’t. And I think that’s why we became a spiritual husband and wife if you will, and I miss him terribly. His wife is a very good friend. But what Ralph and I had was something that came across on screen,” Learned said in a 2019 interview, according to MeTV.

The actors who played Jason and Toni, Jon Walmsley and Lisa Harrison, got married in real life in 1979.

Even Richard Thomas, who played John-Boy, got his actual girlfriend at the time a role as his love interest on the show. Thomas developed a relationship with Sian Barbara Allen while they were filming “You’ll Like My Mother” together. She was in an episode of the first season called “The Love Story,” but did not end up being a recurring character.

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