‘The Waltons’ Star Kami Cotler Failed ‘Gunsmoke’ Audition Because She Forgot a Basic Human Function

by Quentin Blount
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For as much success as The Waltons actress Kami Cotler has had as just a young child, she has also made a couple of blunders.

We have all had an embarrassing time or two in our day, and The Waltons star is certainly no different. As a matter of fact, one of those embarrassing moments came when Cotler forgot how to cough during an audition.

In an interview with Cinephiled.com back in 2015, Kami Cotler discusses the time she spent growing up and acting on The Waltons. Cotler, of course, is well known for playing the young Elizabeth Walton on the popular series. The star actress mentions a time that she was auditioning for a role in the Western drama, Gunsmoke, where it was her job to cough.

“I remember a Gunsmoke audition where I had to cough and I couldn’t remember how so I didn’t get it,” Cotler explained. “I went out for something where I had to eat a piece of bread with peanut butter on it and say how good it was but I didn’t like peanut butter so I wouldn’t do it!”

Rejection at such a young age was somewhat of a hard concept for Cotler to wrap her head around. In fact, she once got the question if she was able to understand that she wasn’t the choice for the role on Gunsmoke.

“Not at all. The audition was kind of like the gig in my mind, it was fun!” The Waltons star said. “I felt very cool and important because I was already a good reader and could read the sides that they gave me without a lot of help!”

How Did ‘The Waltons Star Get Cast in ‘The Homecoming‘?

Kami Cotler is perhaps best remembered for her time on The Waltons. But that wasn’t her only acting stop. She also made appearances in the 1971 television film The Homecoming: A Christmas Story. And in addition, Cotler took part in numerous other Waltons reunion productions.

Incredibly, Cotler was cast in The Homecoming film when she was only six years old. But just how did she get the part? Cotler says that the same casting director from her Gunsmoke audition remembered her head of red hair.

“They were using the same casting director from my Gunsmoke audition. So they called me because they were looking for redheads,” The Waltons star went on.

And while her family was undoubtedly happy for her, they also were planning the logistics on how to make everything work.

“My family was excited when I got that movie but they treated it like a once-in-a-lifetime event,” Cotler said. “Everyone was working so they had to figure out who would watch me on which day.”

We’re sure glad they were able to get all of that straightened out! For more on the cast of The Waltons and other classic TV shows, stick with us here on Outsider!

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