Earl Hamner’s rural childhood growing up in the unincorporated community of Schuyler, Virginia, provided the basis for the setting and many of the storylines of The Waltons. His family and the community provided many life experiences which aided in the characters, values, area, and human-interest stories of his books, movies, and television series. Hamner provided the voice-over of the older John-Boy, usually heard at the beginning and end of each episode.
The Waltons is an American television series created by Earl Hamner, Jr., based on his book Spencer’s Mountain, and a 1963 film of the same name. The show is centered on a family in a rural Virginia community during the Great Depression and World War II. The Waltons began in 1972 and ran for nine seasons, airing its series finale on June 4, 1981. After the series was canceled by CBS in 1981, NBC aired three television movie sequels in 1982, with three more in the 1990s on CBS. The Waltons was produced by Lorimar Productions and distributed by Warner Bros. Domestic Television Distribution in syndication.
Millions of fans fell in love with the show’s vast roster of engaging characters, which were all a credit to Earl’s work.
So where are the cast now?
The star behind John-Boy, now 64, has won an Emmy and received two Golden Globe nominations. He has been working constantly; playing a supporting role in The Americans from 2013-2015 and also popping up in The Good Wife, Chicago P.D. and White Collar in recent years.
The actress, now 76, played Olivia Walton from 1972-1979, winning three Emmys. Since then she has won an additional Emmy (Nurse, 1982) and was last on-screen in 2014 in the short films Unplugged and The Parcel. She also did an episode of Cold Case in 2009.
David W Harper
David quit acting after playing Jim-Bob, the second youngest of the seven featured siblings. In 2014 he was reported to be heading back to school to study business and history.
Eric, 57, played Ben Walton, and now owns Chase Messengers, a parcel delivery service. His acting credits since The Waltons have been sparse.
The actor behind Jason, 60, was originally born in Blackburn, England, and in the years since The Waltons he has gradually swapped acting for music.
Judy is now 58 and remains best-known for her role as Mary Ellen Walton. Her screen career has quietened down since the turn of the century, although she did write, direct and star in the Canadian series Bluff. Her movie Finding Harmony is currently in post-production.
The star, now 50, was six when she first played Elizabeth Walton; and has since reduced her acting roles and is the founding principle of the Environmental Charter Middle School in California.
Mary Elizabeth McDonough
Now 54, Mary Elizabeth was ten-years-old when she was first seen as Erin Walton, and she has since starred in a number of low-profile movies. She also had guest roles in ER, The West Wing, Will & Grace and Ally McBeal. She’s also a published author.
Watch the 40th Year Reunion on the Today Show.
Dwayne Johnson: “I Put My Faith In God And Good Things Will Happen”
Dear Sister and Brother,
- 1. God IS in control even when everything in our live seems to be crashing down around us.
- 2. Life is not always fair, it rains on the just and the unjust…we should not compare our lives to others but focus on the plan God has for us.
- 3. Bad things will happen in this world, but God promised us a home in heaven if we believe in Jesus. One without sorrow, pain or death…where we never will grow old.
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— Aaron Tabor, MD, Founder of Jesus Daily®