Growing up as a child on TV is quite a unique experience. The Waltons star Kami Cotler detailed her experience growing up on the show, in front of countless viewers.
Cotler played Elizabeth Walton. Many child stars struggle once they’ve grown, citing the often strange and uncomfortable experience that comes with growing up on stage.
Luckily for Cotler, she got to go to school still. Some parents with kids in the industry homeschool their kids. But going to school also came with its own set of problems. Cotler started her time on The Waltons when she was only six years old.
“The best part was meeting people from all different backgrounds and experiences – both cast and crew. The harder part was transitioning back to school each spring and having to be cautious about new people…were they really seeing me as me, or just thinking about Elizabeth?” she said.
Learning to navigate social situations where someone could only appreciate you for your fame or character must have been quite difficult in an already socially challenging time, but Cotler seems grateful for her experiences on the show regardless.
Cotler was also too young to fully grasp the absolute magnitude of The Waltons. Apparently, she finally knew that people loved the show when they had to stop taking her to amusement parks because it would form a crowd.
Kami Cotler had To Do Interesting Stuntwork on ‘The Waltons’
People don’t associate The Waltons with intense stunt work. Cotler did have to do quite a few stunts on an episode titled The Ferris Wheel. Mary Ellen Actress Judy Norton, who now has a youtube series detailing what it was like behind the scenes of The Waltons, talked about the stunts Cotler had to do for the episode.
“Kami, Elizabeth of course, is sleepwalking, so she stands on the roof of the house. She stands on the treehouse and threatens to jump off. And of course, everything on the Ferris wheel. And of course, there were the nightmare sequences where she appears to be falling, which was shot on the soundstage with her in a harness,” Norton detailed.
Cotler also talked to Norton and gave her the details on some of her behind the scenes work she did as a kid for that episode.
“[Kami] said she was flying around eight feet off the ground. They had a big wind machine blowing wind so her hair and everything was flying around, so that was kind of an adventure,” Norton said.
Whether it was doing stunts or facing school, Kami Cotler sure had a whirlwind of a childhood. She is now married with two children of her own. While The Waltons is long over, you can always catch Cotler on the show in re-runs.