Thanks to the success of “The Waltons,” the show led to special reunion events. These productions brought together the original cast and excited fans for a return to that beloved fictional universe.
However, according to one cast member of the beloved family drama, not all of the characters from the show appeared in the reunion movies.
That cast member is Judy Norton. She played Mary Ellen Walton on the show. In recent months, the actress has been sharing her memories of the show via her YouTube channel. Her videos are an interesting walk down “The Waltons” memory lane and they offer an insight that fans of the show seem very happy to learn.
During February 2021, this actress famous for “The Waltons” fielded questions from fans. And, she answered them via YouTube. One of the questions posed at the time had to do with the Reed twins. They played her television son with the character Curtis Willard. That child’s name was John-Curtis on the show.
“… From the time (John-Curtis) was a toddler, we had Michael and Marshall Reed who were with us all the way through the nine seasons,” Judy Norton shared on YouTube.
‘The Waltons’ Actress Judy Norton Said Budget Concerns Kept Character of John-Curtis Out of Reunion Movies
Even though John-Curtis was a well-known character in “The Waltons,” he did not appear in the special reunion productions.
According to Judy Norton, her television son’s absence from the show’s reunion movies had to do with finances and not storylines.
“The question has been raised about what happened to John-Curtis in the reunion movies, and as I have said before, for some reason – and I’m not sure all the reasons behind it, how much of it was budgetary,” Norton shared in her YouTube post. “You know they only have so much budget when they’re doing something. And, of course, the priority is to have all the original cast members back. So, all of the original Walton children and John-Boy, and Momma, and Daddy, and Ellen when she was able to. So, those would have been the first priorities for the budget. And then, secondarily, would have been any additional cast, which would have included potential spouses or Corabeth and Ike, the Baldwin sisters. So, some of those recurring characters who were there for quite some time.”
Other Factors Kept Character of John-Curtis Out of Reunion Movies
Another factor that kept John-Curtis out of the reunion movies, according to Judy Norton, was the fact that having actors that young on set was “challenging.”
“And then, children are always more challenging just because of the restrictions of time and having to have teachers on set. So, I think there may have been some things with that where they just went, ‘Oh, you know it’s a lot of children to deal with. So, we’ll just sort of fudge that.”
Another factor contributing to the absence of John-Curtis were the writers, according to Judy Norton.
“But, I also think it was dealing with writers who weren’t as familiar with the history of the show,” she said. “So, they didn’t know the history of all the children. So, I think in some cases they just didn’t realize they were leaving children out. And, if they did know they chose not to – either the producers or the writers, or collectively – they chose not to explain why children weren’t there. And literally said, ‘We don’t think anyone will notice.”
Obviously, people did notice.