‘The Waltons’: Lee Purcell Was ‘Very Pleased’ to Do the Show After Previously Working With a Star From ‘Bonanza’

by Keeli Parkey
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Appearing as a guest star on “The Waltons” must have been exciting for the actors and actresses lucky enough to have the opportunity. You can count Lee Purcell on that list.

Purcell played the death-defying Bobby Strom on her episode of the popular family drama. That episode was titled “The Wing Walker.” It was the seventh episode of the show’s fourth season. It aired during 1975.

What made her chance to work on “The Waltons” even better for Purcell was that she had already worked with two of the show’s stars. She acted with one of these stars in an episode of “Bonanza.” She appeared in a feature film with the other.

Purcell shared details about her experience on “The Waltons” during one of Judy Norton’s popular YouTube videos. Recently, Norton, who played Mary Ellen Walton, has been sharing behind-the-scenes details about the show. Her efforts are giving fans an in-depth look into their beloved show.

This week, it was Lee Purcell’s turn to share her memories of the show.

“So, when I was asked to do ‘The Waltons’ – to play Bobby Strom – I was very pleased,” Purcell said. “Because, obviously, it was ‘The Waltons.’ It was iconic. It was a wonderful show.”

Lee Purcell Appeared on ‘Bonanza’ With One Actor from ‘The Waltons’ and In a Feature Film With Another

In addition to being excited to work on such an “iconic” show, Purcell also looked forward to working with two of its stars again. These stars were Richard Thomas and Ralph Waite. Thomas played John-Boy Walton, the oldest of the family’s children. Waite played John Walton Sr., the family’s patriarch.

“So, I was very excited to be able to see these two people again, whom I really, really liked very much and love working with,” Purcell said.

Turns out, Lee Purcell and Richard Thomas had appeared on another classic television show together. This show was “Bonanza,” according to the actress.

“… we had done, both very early in our careers, we had done an episode of ‘Bonanza’ together,” Purcell said.

According to IMDb.com, that episode was titled “The Weary Willies.” This episode aired in 1970. It was the 12th episode of the third season. Purcell played character Angie Colter, while Richard Thomas played Billy. The plot of the episode is: “The Cartwrights lend their support to The Weary Willies, a group of Civil War veterans who are struggling to re-enter society.”

Purcell said that she worked with Ralph Waite in a Fox feature film. This project was titled “Kid Blue.”

Getting to appear on “The Waltons” also gave Lee Purcell the opportunity to meet other members of the show’s cast. And, as luck would have it, she would go on to become friends with Judy Norton.

“And, then also to meet the rest of the cast, who were fantastic,” Purcell said. “So, one of the great things about being an actress is the people you meet and the people that you get to work with, and the people that you form lifelong friendships with. And, to me, that is the biggest treasure, the biggest takeaway. And, of course, one of them was Judy, Judy Norton. … we just hit it off. We just hit it off immediately and we became lifelong friends. …”

Outsider.com