‘The Waltons:’ Where is Iconic Cast Today?

by Keeli Parkey

For nine seasons “The Waltons” television program transported audiences back to a simpler time. A time when loving your family and loving your neighbor as yourself were more important than how much money you earn and what kind of car you drive.

For those who loved “The Waltons,” that fictional family became part of their actual family. Even though it was a television show, so many viewers found something to relate to in that Depression-era storyline and the characters who lived through it.

“The Waltons” began airing on CBS in 1972. The show was set in rural Virginia just as the Great Depression began to change the United States forever. The show was a hit with its American audience and aired for nine seasons.

According to an article on CheatSheet.com, the show was based on a book by Earl Hamner, Jr., called “Spencer’s Mountain.” John Boy, one of the most popular characters on the show, was based on Hamner. The author even lent his voice as a narrator on the show. It makes sense that John Boy was based on Hamner as the character documented the goings-on of his home.

“The Waltons” presented a picturesque view of life in the fictional Jefferson County, Virginia. While the mountain views were memorable, they weren’t filmed in Virginia. They were actually filmed in Hollywood Hills, according to the article.

‘The Waltons’ Years Later

Many fans of “The Waltons” have wondered what happened to the actors who brought their favorite characters to life since the show ended its wildly popular run. Well, now is your chance to find out.

A few of the actors on “The Waltons” went on to act in other projects. Others left the business.

Ralph Waite continued acting after “The Waltons” where he played John Walton Sr. The actor appeared on “NCIS,” “Days of Our Lives,” and “Roots.” He ran for Congress two times, but both bids were unsuccessful.

Cast members who also continued to act were Michael Learned and Richard Thomas. Learned, who played Olivia Walton, appeared in film and on stage. Thomas went on to act in several roles, including one on “NCIS: New Orleans” several decades later.

Despite acting in a very wholesome show, actress Judy Norton chose to go another route later in her career. The actress who portrayed Mary-Ellen went on to pose for Playboy during the 1980s. She also tried her hand at community theater, music, and skydiving.

Jon Walmsley played Jason on “The Waltons.” He pursued a music career after the show and was the voice of Christopher Robin in Disney’s “Winnie the Pooh” animated show.

To help you rekindle your love for “The Waltons,” check out these opening credits below. Doesn’t that music just make your day seem better?