In The Waltons, Grandpa Zeb’s stained glass window was absolutely beautiful, so why is it rarely seen in the series? Mary Ellen actress Judy Norton provided an answer for that during another video for her youtube series, Behind the Scenes of The Waltons. The series takes a look at The Waltons through the lens of someone who was on the show.
Norton talked about the window during a video about The Waltons episode, The Long Night.
“There has been talk about the stained glass window that was installed in the grandparent’s bedroom at one point. I heard that we never really saw it again. Well, in this episode, we do see it. Grandpa is polishing it up so that he can see through it,” she said. Part of Norton’s series involves discussing The Waltons directly with old fans.
“And then at another point, you can see him from the outside cleaning it in a lovely sort of flashback sequence of grandma and grandpa dancing in their bedroom and sharing just a wonderful moment together,” she said.
But the reason we didn’t get more episodes featuring that stained glass? It was purely logistical.
“Often, in the grandparent’s room, we shot from the wall where that stained glass window would be. That was usually the angle we shot the bedroom from. The wall that was most frequently out from that bedroom allowing for filming was that wall where the stained glass window would be,” she explained.
Fun window or not, Norton loved working with Grandpa Zeb actor Will Geer. In another video, she discussed how much she loved what Geer brought to the role of Grandpa. Apparently, he brought in a lot of Grandpa’s more joyful aspects.
In Another Youtube Video, Norton Talked about an Experience on ‘The Waltons’ with Michael Learned
A lot of the videos on Norton’s Behind the Scenes With The Waltons series detail what it was like working with certain cast members. Norton once shared a particularly sweet memory about actor Michael Learned, who played her mother.
The scene came from an episode called The Quilting. In the episode, Mary-Ellen fights with her mother and grandmother about going through with a traditional “quilting” ceremony signaling she’s a young adult ready to be courted. Particularly, Learned’s work during a scene in an attic with a “hope chest” particularly moved Norton.
“That’s just such a typical example of the beautiful work that Michael created as Olivia. It’s just sweet and does touch on a beautiful tradition. And trying to get Mary Ellen to see it that way, as opposed to just a way to announce that she’s there to be married,” Norton said.
The Waltons premiered almost fifty years ago at this point, but it’s an important work that’s still getting discussed by fans and actors alike. For fans, Judy Norton’s series is a great watch that’ll shed new light on a long-treasured series.