‘The Waltons’ Family – What Happened to Them?
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Throughout the 70s, families across America welcomed another family into their homes: The Waltons. That popular television series shared the experience of a Depression-era family living in the Virginia mountains. The struggles and triumphs of three generations of the bustling Walton clan kept audiences spellbound even in the glitzy Disco Era. How? The Waltons had a wholesome message that resonated with people of all walks of life. Audiences weren’t just entertained, they were heart-warmed by the compassion, kindness, and gentle fun of the people living on Walton Mountain.
The actors who starred in this show became household icons. Now the 41st anniversary has passed. Are the actors still riding the crest of fame or have they settled down to pursue less public dreams?
1. Jon Walmsley (Jason Walton)
Jon Walmsley charmed audiences with his musical talents during his series-long role as Jason Walton, the second oldest brother. After the show ended, he appeared in every one of the Walton’s Reunion specials. That musical voice has served him well in his later career. He branched out into voiceover work, and many recognize him as the voice of Christopher Robin in the Winnie the Pooh cartoons. He also has contributed as a composer and producer to 14 albums, including 2014’s popular holiday-time single “Christmas in America.”
2. Eric Scott (Ben Walton)
Troublemaking and rebellious Benjamin, the third Walton son, was played by Eric Scott. Scott reprised his role on all six Walton’s movies. The 57-year-old Scott now lives in Los Angeles with his third wife, Cynthia, and his youngest child. Unlike many of his other Walton Family cast members, Scott no longer works as an actor. He has risen to become Vice President of a parcel delivery company.
3. David W. Harper (Jim Bob Walton)
“Jim Bob” Walton, the talented and creative youngest son of the family, was played by David Harper. Despite appearing in all six of the Walton movies, David only had a few other acting roles throughout the 80s and 90s. The 55-year-old now lives in Los Angeles and works as an art dealer.
4. Kami Cotler (Elizabeth Walton)
Elizabeth Walton, played by Kami Cotler, was the youngest child of the huge Walton gang. Despite a lot of buzz surrounding Kami’s acting potential, she only appeared in Walton’s movies and a few episodes of obscure 70s TV shows before retiring from the public eye. Kami was last seen in 2012 where she organized a Walton family reunion honoring the series’ 40th anniversary.
5. Ralph Waite (John Walton Sr.)
Ralph Waite played John Walton Sr., the father of the Walton family. Ralph had one of the most unusual and successful post-show careers. He appeared as an in-demand actor, writer, and director for countless TV shows and movies throughout the 70s, 80s, 90s, and early 2000s. As if that wasn’t enough, this ambitious and talented man also had political aspirations and ran for Congress on three occasions. Ralph, unfortunately, passed away in 2014. He was 85 years old.
6. Miss Michael Learned (Olivia Walton)
Olivia Walton was the mother of the family and was played for seven seasons by Michael Learned. The role earned her two Emmys and a Golden Globe nomination. These helped Learned kickstart her post-show acting career. She played a number of roles, most famously including appearances in Gunsmoke, Nurse, and several soap operas like The Young and the Restless and General Hospital.
7. Will Geer (Zebulon “Grandpa” Walton)
Will Greer was one of the oldest cast members on the show and he was already a prominent actor in the theater prior to the series. His portrayal as “Grandpa Walton” marked one of his first major TV roles. Will passed away in 1978 due to complications of a respiratory condition.
8. Ellen Corby (Esther “Grandma” Walton)
“Grandma Walton” was played by Ellen Corby for five seasons and appeared 0n five out of the six movies. Ellen’s other most famous roles include It’s a Wonderful Life, The Andy Griffith Show, and several episodes of Please Don’t Eat the Daisies. Her acting career slowed down considerably in the 80s and 90s due to her failing health. Ellen passed away in 1999 from a stroke.