‘The Waltons’: Mary Ellen Actress Judy Norton Opens Up on Working With Guest Stars Ron Howard

by Clayton Edwards
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Judy Norton played Mary Ellen Walton throughout the series’ nine-season run. Then, she reprised the role for several Walton family movies. Today, she hosts a web series in which she takes fans of the classic show behind the scenes. She tells stories about what it was like to be part of one of television’s favorite families.

Most of the time, Judy Norton picks topics that she thinks fans will find interesting. For instance, she has talked at length about filming locations of the series. Norton even goes into detail about the steamier moments on The Waltons. From time to time, Norton opens her inbox to questions from viewers. This allows her to connect more with the fans. At the same time, it lets her look back on things that she may not think about while planning regular episodes of her web series. These installments are simply called Ask Judy.

Back in January, Norton posted a particularly interesting Ask Judy installment. In that episode, she opened up about which of the many guest-stars on the show was the most exciting for her.

Judy Norton On Guest Stars

The question that got the conversation started came from a viewer named Steve. He wanted to know which of the many celebrity guest stars on The Waltons excited Judy Norton the most. The list of big names that joined the family on the classic series is long. Honestly, the list is a little surprising.

Judy Norton reads off a list of stars with who she shared the screen in the series. It includes Ron Howard, Sissy Spacek, Jennifer Jason Leigh, Ned Beatty, and several others. However, Norton notes that most of those actors weren’t yet stars when they appeared on The Waltons.

There were a couple of guests that already had successful careers before appearing on The Waltons. Judy Norton gives Jean Marsh as an example. Marsh was the star of the popular British drama series Upstairs Downstairs. Norton was aware of the show and its star but had never seen it.

Ron Howard, on the other hand, was already a star here in the States when he appeared on The Waltons. At the same time, Judy Norton grew up watching him on The Andy Griffith Show. So, seeing him on set was exciting for her. About this, she said, “I was probably a little like, ‘Oh wow, it’s Ron Howard,’ you know?” She went on to say that his guest appearance was probably the one that impressed her more than any of the others.

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