Being a part of an iconic and classic TV show like “The Waltons” for years can either be enlightening and amazing or can eventually harbor some resentment and discomfort.
Any role, especially a long-running one, can lead an actor to become typecast. This is essentially when viewers and the industry only see this person as a character they’ve portrayed and are unwilling to see them in a new light.
Although long roles on TV produce consistent paychecks and good experiences, there’s always a risk.
Judy Norton Experience on the Series
However, for Judy Norton, who played Mary Ellen Walton, her time on “The Waltons” never came with any kind of resentment. Even years later, all the positives greatly outweigh any of the negatives from filming the show.
“I always loved what I did. I still do. That’s why I continue to do it. There were days where it wasn’t as much fun. It got tedious, long days on the set, and sometimes it was tough not being able to schedule anything else in my life because we were always on call. So you might think, oh, I can make a doctor appointment, and then it’s like, oops, nope, I’m working that day,” Judy Norton said in a video from her YouTube channel — “The Waltons — Behind the Scenes with Judy Norton.”
Her continuous YouTube channel is proof that she still adores her time on “The Waltons.” Her channel is a place where she discusses insight from behind the scenes and answers any kind of fan questions. Despite it being 40 years later, Norton still vividly remembers the filming process. All in all, resentment is far from what she feels when she thinks about the classic ’70s program.
“To me, it was offset by having this wonderful experience and all of these opportunities that came to me because of the show, because of the work that I did,” Norton said.
Adoration of ‘The Waltons’
Despite always adoring her character, Norton was careful to never take her home at the end of filming. It was important that she could separate from “The Waltons” to some degree.
“I’ve always been an actor who can step into my character and step out of my character. I have never found myself really taking the character home. Some characters are closer to me in nature. I think Mary Ellen was closer to me than maybe some other characters because I started playing the character when I was young,” Norton said in another YouTube video.
It’s clear that there’s little public resentment for “The Waltons” in general. In fact, there is a reboot of the show coming to The CW soon. According to Deadline, fans will see “The Waltons’ Homecoming” soon with new stars, but the same story.
It is marking the 50th anniversary of “The Homecoming: A Christmas Story” television movie that came out on December 19, 1971, and launched the long-running series. This new TV movie will star Ben Lawson, Bellamy Young, Logan Shroyer, Marcelle Le Blanc, Christian Finlayson, and Tatum Matthew, amongst several others.
The show even got the original John Boy, Richard Thomas, to be the narrator.