Ever wonder what “The Waltons” set looked like behind-the-scenes? Well, Judy Norton shared rare footage of home videos that her mother filmed while visiting the set.
When most of us think about home videos, we think about footage of old Halloween costumes, birthday parties, and family gatherings. But what happens when you grow up on the set of a television show? That was the case for actress Judy Norton who played Mary Ellen on “The Waltons.” She started acting on the show when she was only 14-years-old. And she spent nine years with the show. So, most of her formative years took place on the backlot of the Warner Brothers television show set. During an episode of her video series, “Behind-the-Scenes with Judy Norton,” Norton shared rare home videos of her and her co-stars on “The Waltons” set.
“Cameras were pretty restricted on movie sets and on TV sets,” said Norton. “You weren’t really supposed to come and take pictures without permission. This was just standard that sets were considered confidential…So I have very few pictures or videos from behind the scenes filming ‘The Waltons.'”
But when a proud mama gets to watch her daughter act for an iconic television show, there’s no stopping her. So, a few mothers of “The Waltons” actors snuck home videos on the set. Actress Kami Coulter’s mom shot some videos while the cast filmed “The Homecoming” in Jackson Wyoming. And, after her mother passed, Judy Norton discovered that her mom had also snuck a camera onto the set and filmed some behind-the-scenes videos.
Judy Norton Found Home Videos Filmed By Her Mother On The Set Of “The Waltons”
“Here is the Malibu beach area where we came occasionally to film beach sequences,” said Norton. “Now, here we are at the Warner Brothers Studio. And there we have, of course, the Waltons Mountain schoolroom. This is the schoolroom where we went every day to do school work.”
There’s even footage of Norton with a few of her co-stars.
“Ah, and here I am with Eric,” said Norton. “He looks like he is in wardrobe and I am not. So I was either not yet dressed in wardrobe or, perhaps I did not have scenes that day and I was just coming in for school.”
The home videos also feature clips of Richard Thomas, who played John-Boy, hanging out with Norton’s mom. And Michael Learned, who played Olivia Walton, talking with Norton’s grandmother. Norton showed a video clip of the cast’s dressing rooms located behind the set.
But the coolest part of the home videos was seeing actors dressed in their modern clothes casually walking around the vintage sets of “The Waltons.”
“These sets were also sometimes used at times in episodes of westerns and things like that who had been shot at Warner Brothers over the years,” said Norton.
It’s nice that Norton’s mother captured so much footage of “The Waltons” set back then because the sets no longer exist.
“The whole backlot where we filmed is gone now. It’s all buildings and parking lots now, unfortunately,” said Norton. The march of progress.”
Luckily, Judy Norton has these home videos from her mother to look back on and reminisce. Thanks, Mama Norton!