Waltons Friendship Society
Waltons Friendship Society

The Waltons Cast

RALPH WAITE:- Played John Walton, the father.


Ralph was born in White Plains, New York on June 22nd 1928. He is the oldest of five children. After leaving school Ralph attended Bucknell University and abtained a BA degree and then began workas a social worker. At the same time he was a religious editor for Harper and Row before becoming a Presbyterian minister. It wasnt until the age of 30 that he began to study acting and fell in love with it. In 1960 he started in a production of The Balcony in New York before getting good parts in such productions as Cool Hand Luke, Bonanza and Chato's Land. 

It was his role as the head of the Waltons family that helped make his name well known and as well as acting in the series Ralph also driected several episodes for which he earned an Emmy nomination. Ralph struggled at times with a drinking problem which he has claimed the Waltons series helped him cope with and manage. He joined Alcoholics Anonymus and has beenreformed for several decades. Ralph also received an Emmy nomination for his role in Roots and has appeared in the film Bodyguard alongside Whitney Houston and Kevin Costner. He can be seen in other roles in such things as Cliff Hanger, TV series Murder One, Navy NCIS, Cold Case and Grey's Anatomy as well as many other and he continues to accept acting roles to this very day. 

He served in the U.S Marine corps from 1946 - 1948. He says his favourite stage role is playing King Lear, and says Hollywood turned him into a human being after his heavy drinking days. Married three times, since 1984 Ralph has been married to Linda East and they live in California. He had political ambitions and ran several times with a good degree of success and support for the Democrats for the U.S. Senate. He said he got involved with politics because he thought his representative in Congress was not up to the job, and despite some defeats Ralph says he had a great time trying.


Everyone who knew Ralph, who watched the show, who acted with him, who looked up to him all his life would of been very saddened to hear of the death of Ralph in February 2014. Such a sad loss to everyone.



MICHAEL LEARNED:- Played Olivia Walton, the mother.


Michael was born on April 9th 1939 in Washington DC and she is the eldest of six daughters. Michael grew up living on a farm in Connecticut. Through her fathers work the family moved to Austria and then England during the 1950's. She can speak some German and while she was in London she attended a private school and here is where she discovered her interest in acting. In the early 1960's Michael gained parts in several productions including Gunsmoke. 

Michael received four nominations for a Golden Globe for her role as Olivia Walton, the mother of the famous family as well as six nominations for an Emmy which she won three times a fantastic achievement that she is very proud of. She was seen as the nations favourite mum and her role as Olivia has been admired by many people across the world. After the Waltons Michael was a very busy actor and she could be seen in such things as Nurse, for which she won another Emmy award, Dragon about Bruce Lee, as well as appearing in many theatre productions on Broadway.


Michael has been married four time and since 1991 has been with her husband John Doherty. It is said that her father gave her her name Michael after he chose the name thinking he was having a boy and when a girl arrived he decided to keep his chosen name.

Michael has always been a busy actor with many projects and productions during her career. She has been seen in such things as Wiseguy, Keeping Secrets, Little Mo, St Elsewhere, Picnic, Roots, Living Dolls, Who's the Boss, For the Love of Mary, All My Children, The Killer, Mr Sunshine, General Hospital, The Young and Restless to name just some of them. Michael continues to work and accept roles as she extends her acting career.



WILL GEER:- Played Zebulon Walton- Grandpa.

Will was born on March 9th 1902 in Indiana. He attended Chicago University where he majored in plant and animal husbandry. He was an excellent folk singer and toured the country with people such as Burl Ives. he appeared in many films including Winchester 73, Seconds, Jeremiah Johnson, The Reivers and Comanche Territory. For many years Will could be seen on TV in such shows as Gunsmoke, Mission Impossible, The Young Rebels and Hawaii 5-0 to name but a few. But he will be best remembered as the countrys Grand Pa from the Waltons.

He loved appearing on the Waltons and the many friends he found on set. He loved children, loved plants and loved acting. He started a repertory theatre where we would talk with young actors and held discussions about philosophy and psychology. Sadly in April 1978 Will died just before filming the next Waltons series had begun. Gone but never ever forgotten, is Will Geer.



ELLEN CORBY:- Played Esther Walton- Grandma.

Ellen was born on June 3rd 1911 in Wisconsin and grew up in Philadelphia and after leaving school her first job was as a chorus girl in Atlantic City. But she desired to be an actress so moved to Hollywood. She agreed to be a script girl for a producer in excchange for a part in a film and she did this for ten years on such films as Laurel and Hardy and Hopalong Cassidy westerns. She appeared in I Remember Mama in 1948 for which she received an Oscar Nomination.

By 1950 Ellen was a well known actress and appeared in nearly 400 films including, Its A wonderful Life, Shane and Vertigo . She could also be seen in such things as, The Addams Family, I Love Lucy, Trackdown, Please Dont Eat The Daises, The Virginian, The Rifleman and Wagon Train to name but a few. In 1973 Ellen won an Emmy award for her Best Supporting Actress in a Drama, a superb achievement and collected two more in 1975 and 1976 as well as a Golden Globe Award in 1974, much deserved recognition for her outstanding acting ability. She passed away in April 1999 aged 87 after over 60 years in the business. Much loved lady.



RICHARD THOMAS:-  Played John-Boy Walton.


Richard was born on June 13th 1951 in New York city. His parents were both dancers and they owned the New York School of Ballet. He attended school in Manhattan and made his debut on Broadway aged just 7 in Sunrise at Campobello in 1958. Soon after he started his TV career and appeared in such productions as A Dolls House, The Edge of The Night and As The World Turns. In 1969 Richard secured some major film roles such as Winning with Paul Newman and Last Summer. 


But it was for his role of the eldest Waltons son in the series that made his name very famous. He played the role for five seasons and became one of the most popular actors of his time. After he left he returned to play the role again in three Waltons TV Movies during the 1990's. He won an Emmy for Best Actor in a Dramatic series in 1972. 

Richard continued to be in great demand as an actor after the Waltons and played lead roles in the 1974 TV Movie The Red Badge of Courage as well as making appearances in Roots the next Generation, All quiet on the Western Front, Living Proof, Hobson's Choice, Final Jeopardy amongst others. As well as publishing books of Poetry Richard continued to act. He appeared on Broadway again in 1980 in Richard II. He could be seen in The Christmas Box, Touched by an Angel and in London in Art in 2001. Richard has been so busy including being Chairman of the Better Hearing Institute, hosted Its a Miracle and appearing in Just Cause. In 2006 he toured in the play Twelve Angry Men and provided voice overs in Commercials for Mercedes-Benz, Zaxby's restaurent amongst others.

In 1975 Richard married Alma Gonzales and they have four children including triplets but parted in 1993. A year later he married Georgina Bischoff and they have a son and together they live in New York City. His iconic role of playing John-Boy Walton is seen by many as one of the most famous characters in U.S. TV history.



JON WALMSLEY:- Played Jason Walton


Jon was born on February 6th 1956 in Blackburn in England. As a small boy his family moved across to live in America. Jon accepted roles such as a speaking part in the cartoon "Winnie the Pooh and The Blustery Day in 1968. Jon played an important role in The Waltons and grew up on the series. Jon married actress Lisa Harrison who played in the series as Toni Walton his on screen wife but they parted in 1979. Jon is now married to Marion and they live in sunny California.

After his time in the Waltons Jon was not seen very much on screen and he pursued his passion for music. During the 1980's he played for the very popular singer Richard Marx and has since gone on to perform with such people as Brian Setzer, The Doobie brothers, Michael McDonald, Roy Acuff, Denny Laine, Spencer Davis, Peter and Gordon, Roger Daltry, The Beach Boys and many many more. Jon has performed in front of thousands of fans through his love of music but says he remembers with fond memories of his time on The waltons and the friends he still has from the series.

This is the link to visit Jon's Facebook page where you can see even more up to date information about him. www.facebook.com/jonwalmsleyfan



JUDY NORTON:- Played Mary Ellen Walton


Judy was born on January 29th 1958 in Santa monica California. First appeared on stage aged just 7 and played a few small TV roles including in Hotel. Judy played the eldest daughter in the Waltons series. An excellent singer, Judy has appeared in many TV and film roles after leaving the series. She wrote and directed many shows for theatre companies in Canada and developed her stage show Judy Norton and Friends.

Judy is very busy and continues to act in theatre productions across America, she also continues to work on both TV and Film projects as well as both writes and directs for both TV and Films, in fact i really do not know how she fits in so much to her time. I am sure we all wish her continued success with her very active career. Judy lives in California with her husband Bob. She was the first of the Waltons to get married in the series and she continues to be popular with fans of the series across the world. On screen she was known for her athletic ability and this has continued with her horse riding and ski ing.





ERIC SCOTT:- Played Ben Walton.


Eric was born on October 20th 1958 in Hollywood, California. He grew up in the San Fernando Valley with his two brothers. He started acting aged 7 and got a modeling job, and appeared in several commercials and in several shows such as Bewitched, lancer and Young Rebels. He got the role in the Waltons and became a famous face on all our screens but after the Waltons he took no more other acting roles. 

Married three times, Eric's second wife died shortly after giving birth. Eric now lives in California with his wife Cynthia with there children and runs his parcel delivery company called Chase Messengers and will always be remebered fondly for his portrayal of the character Ben Walton in the series.



MARY McDONOUGH:- Played Erin Walton.


Mary was born on May 4th 1961 in California. She played the middle daughter in the Waltons in every series and film until it ended in 1997 and grew from a child into a woman before our very eyes on the show. She went onto appear in such things as Love Boat, Emergency Room, Picket Fences and Ally McBeal. Later she could be seen in Diagnosis Murder, ER, General Hospital to name but a few. Mary fell ill with the disease lupus after breast surgeryand she blames leaking implants and has since got involved with lupus sufferers ever since.

Mary lives in Los Angeles with her 2nd husband. Mary is the first Walton child to write their autobiography called, " Lessons From The Mountain", a brilliant read for everyone, waltons fans included but for anyone who likes a good book to read. Its an open and honest and very funny book and Mary should be very proud of it. Mary is a superb actress, an excellent mother and an insipartion to millions around the world.



DAVID HARPER:- Played Jim Bob Walton.


David was born on October 4th 1961 in Texas. He played the youngest Walton son when aged just 11 years old, and grew up from a young boy into a man during the Walton years. Afterwards he did appear in a few films but left acting. He did work for Eric Scott for a while as a driver. 

David will always be rememberd fondly from his role within the Waltons and can been seen at many Walton reunion events. This very popular and well liked person appears to keep his private life private but he can be assured his many fans wish him health and happiness in the future.



KAMI COTLER:- Played Elizabeth Walton.


Kami was born on June 17th 1965 in California. She filmed the pilot for the Waltons aged just 6. The youngest Walton child she literally grew up on screen. Earl Hamner says that many child actors are there simply to look cute, but not kami, she even had the starring role in the very first episode of series one, and is admired for her acting in the series by many in the industry. She did appear in a few productions after the Waltons but then left the industry and changed career.

Kami now lives in Los Angeles and is married with two children. She trained to become  an elementary school teacher at university and went onto become a member of the board of directors of Enviromental charter High School. In the past she has also run her own boutique travel companyand a cafe. Kami has many many fans across the world for her role as Elizabeth and should look back with pride at her achievements.



Waltons Friendship Societ




Want to join us?

Then simply complete the application form via the membership heading at the top of this page.

Membership Prices Frozen again for 2017!!

Why become a member?


1) You will be entered free of charge into every single Society competition which have brilliant prizes, see our competition page.


2) It is the only way to receive the concluding part of every interview with people from the show, see interview page.

** So far we have concluding parts of our exclusive society interviews with both series creator Earl Hamner as well as Judy Norton who played Mary Ellen in the series, waiting to be sent out to you as soon as you become a member, with more to follow, so join today!


3) Should an event involving people from the series be organized by our society then members will receive a priority ticket booking period before non-members.


COMPETITION No1:- The first Walton Friendship Society competition has now been drawn and won by a society member living in Yorkshire in England, see the competition page for more details and winners reaction.


Competition No2:- This competition prize is also a book written by a cast member. "My Secret Life" by Martha Nix Wade who played Serena in the series.

 Well done to our member from Kent here in the UK for being drawn out as the prize winner.


Competition No3:- Congratulations to Jane from Stroud in the Uk who is our latest prize winner and recieves a beautiful signed colour photo of Judy Norton who played Mary Ellen in the series.


Competition No4:- This was drawn in August 2015 and congratulations got to Victoria from Coventry who the signed photo of series creator Earl hamner!


Competition No5:- Congratulations go to our December 2015 competition winner who is Sheila from Cambridge who has won the superb colour action photo of Erin and Mary Ellen which has ben signed by Judy Norton, its a superb prize, well done.


Competition No6:- Congratulations go to our March 2016 competition winner who is David from Devon in the UK who has won a superb signed photo of series creator Earl Hamner.


Competition No7:- Congratulations to our August 2016 competition winner who is Alison from Essex in the UK who has won a great copy of the book on the Walton's by Earl Hamner.


Competition No8:- Congratulations to Kate from East Sussex who has won the December 2016 prize draw competition and wins a superb colour signed photo of Judy Norton who played Mary Ellen in the series.


Competition No9:- This will be drawn in March 2017 and the winner will recieve a superb colour signed photo from Jon Walmsley. To be included in this draw simply ensure your a society member by th start of March 2017, Good Luck!.



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