The Waltons

The WaltonsNetwork: CBS
Episodes: 221 (hour)
Seasons: Nine

TV show dates: September 14, 1972 — June 4, 1981
Series status: Cancelled/ended

Performers include: Jon Walmsley, Mary Beth McDonough, Eric Scott, Judy Norton-Taylor, David W. Harper, Kami Cotler, Ralph Waite, Joe Conley, Michael Learned, Will Geer, Ellen Corby, Richard Thomas, Ronnie Claire Edwards, Mary Jackson, Helen Kleeb, Michael Reed, Marshall Reed, Leslie Winston, John Crawford, Peggy Rea, Nora Marlowe, Tom Bower, Robert Donner, John Ritter, Keith Coogan, Martha Nix, Lynn Hamilton, Robert Wightman, Mariclare Costello, Rachel Longaker, Merie Earle, Victor Izay, David Doremus, Lewis Arquette, Cindy Eilbacher, Wilford Brimley, James Gammon, Art Gilmore, Dorothy Shay, Llynn Storer, Peter Fox, Tony Becker, Claire Schoene, Elizabeth Schoene, Tammi Bula, Hal Williams, and Earl Hamner Jr. (as the adult John Boy and narrator).

the waltons past TV show

TV show description: Based on the Spencer’s Mountain book by Earl Hamner, Jr. and a 1963 Henry Fonda movie of the same name, this drama revolves around a large family living in rural Virginia during the Depression and World War II.

The family lives on Walton’s Mountain and is made up of John and Olivia Walton (Ralph Waite and Michael Learned), their seven children, and John’s parents, Zebulon “Zeb” and Esther Walton (Will Geer and Ellen Corby).

The story is seen primarily through the eyes of John “John Boy” Walton, Jr. (Richard Thomas, later Robert Wightman), an aspiring writer and the eldest son. The other children are introverted musician Jason (Jon Walmsley); rebellious Mary Ellen (Judy Norton-Taylor); pretty Erin (Mary Beth McDonough); schemer Ben (Eric Scott); slow-witted James Robert “Jim-Bob” (David W. Harper); and sensitive Elizabeth (Kami Cotler).

The mountain setting is also home to several other townspeople like the moonshine-producing spinsters, the Baldwin sisters (Mary Jackson and Helen Kleeb); general store owners Ike and Cora Beth Godsey (Joe Conley and Ronnie Claire Edwards); hard-working African American Verdie Foster (Lynn Hamilton); and undermotivated chicken thief Yancy Tucker (Robert Donner).

As the series goes on, the Walton family grows through weddings and births. Hamner narrates the opening and closing of each episode, portraying an adult John Boy Walton who is recounting his family’s past.

The Christmas movie pilot, The Homecoming: A Christmas Story, preceeded the series and aired on December 19, 1971. Some of the character were played by other actors. They include Andrew Duggan (John Walton, Sr.), Patricia Neal (Olivia), and Edgar Bergen (Grandpa).

Series Finale:     
Episode 221 — The Revel
John-Boy goes to New York to pursue his writing career but arrives to find that his manuscript has been rejected. His publisher’s secretary gives him enough money to return home and advises him to start a new book. He returned home dejected.

Meanwhile, the Baldwin sisters plan a lavish ball and send out invitations to their many old friends. Most are returned because the people have all died or moved away. The Waltons end up saving the day when they gather everyone they can find to attend the celebration.

In the closing epilogue, John Boy recounts, “I had returned to the mountain once again to find the inspiration I needed to write. Soon I was back in New York City laboring over another book, and because of the renewed courage they brought me, I would never forget Miss Mamie and Miss Emily and their zest for life. I hope that you’ll remember this house as I do. The mystical blue ridges that stretch beyond it into infinity; the sound of voices drifting out upon the night air; a family waiting, and a light in the window. Good night!”
First aired: June 4, 1981.


What happened next?   
After the series ended, the cast reunited for a total of six made-for-TV movies.
   • A Wedding on Waltons’ Mountain, February 22, 1982
   • Mother’s Day on Waltons’ Mountain, May 9, 1982
   • A Day for Thanks on Walton’s Mountain, November 22, 1982
   • A Walton Thanksgiving Reunion, November 21, 1993
   • A Walton Wedding, February 12, 1995
   • A Walton Easter, March 30, 1997
There are no plans for any additional reunions at this time.


Canceled and renewed TV show

19 Comments · Read them below or add one

  1. Pami says

    The Walton are on the Halmark Channel at night if you like to watch the show, check your channel for your time they come on. Great shows for your children to watch.

  2. Gina Waters says

    Earl Hamner how blessed he was to live the life he did. I am thankful that he gave us an opportunity to be a part of this (his) wonderful family. Everynite is my Waltons nite ending in tears albeit happy ones. We all wish we had such a family but to know it is possible is a joy. Earl lived it ……we are the beneficiaries.
    His parents are the worlds lesson on “how to” parenting.

  3. Dawn says

    I have felt “out of the loop” with of my friends & coworkers. Emotionally charged discussions over who got kicked off an island or who left American Idol never interested me. Now it’s the “real” housewives of where ever, and fame being built off .a daughter in a sex tape

    Thankfully…good tv treasures like The Walton’s or Little House on the Prairie can still be found on stations that hold themselves to a higher standard. I can watch these shows with my 7 year old granddaughter, knowing she’s getting daily doses of good life lessons, and won’t grow up to be a Kardashian or a Snookie.

  4. LaVerne says

    The Waltons are a great example of what true family tv is all about . Today’s tv very different and you really have to check what you are watching. The show was. a program that you could feel good and it was like looking into the lives and history of a real family. I miss feel good tv. There is just not enough family tv anymore. Love the Waltons.

  5. Simon Templar says

    I love The Waltons!
    Watched it on Sunday Mornings before Little House on the Prairee!
    Watching it now as I type this!
    I still can not believe the quality of the acting by all the cast!
    It sometimes feels like, it’s not a drama, that we are observing a real family and all their joys and ordeals etc etc etc!
    One things has puzzled me though!
    In the early episodes, the children didn’t wear shoes in summer!
    I guess in those days, shoes were a luxury for large families!
    But what on earth, did these people do in Winter?
    Any answers anyone?
    Driving me nutty!

    • Anon says

      I was born in the early ’50’s. We also never wore shoes from the late spring until Sept. when school started. We did have shoes and boots in the winter!

  6. Stephanie says

    I watched the show were Mary Ellen married jones. After the accident she could not have any more children. In the later 1993 or 1997 movie she had 2 other children. Were these children adopted?

  7. says

    Since I left the US in 1953 and did not return until 1992 I had never seen the Waltons before and now that I am a great grandmother I am ejoying for first time. My family says I am a fanatic of the Waltons. Please keep them on TV.

  8. gwen ford says

    I have seen most og the waltons on True Enertainment channel, and it finishes this week June 2012, and I will miss the progam on a sat ,nothing to watch at seven o/clock in the mornig

  9. IRENE says

    whn the waltons were first on I was so busy working two or three jobs to keep my five children wwith home food and cloths.Now that they are all grown up I am watching for th first time, The Waltons along with so many other shows I missed. People laugh at me when I say I hav not watched Mash or Dallas. It all brand new to me. I am so in love with the Waltons. I cry everyday. I watched the forthieth annivrsery and hard ms learned say sh was way hung over when sh went to audition for the mom part. wow that hurt. I guess she dosnt understand how the show could man so much to some. I wish I could exxplain to her. i miss grandpa an ma like thy were mine and I didnt have a family like that. i didnt hav a father and did not know wo my mother was or the term mother until around 14 years olds by then I was to become a mother.

  10. susan jay says

    i grew up with the waltons and when i had my children they grew up with the waltons as well and nowmim in my 50s i still love to watch them and the reunions please please keep them on the tv

  11. Katherine L. Raider says

    How come you don’t share the original first different parents on The Waltons. And do you have a DVD about that season before the 1-9 seasons actually began, I grew up loving all the whole series of The Walton and don’t get enough. I cannot afford because I am on a fixd income and disabled since 2005. Please send me info about my request, thank you Katherine L. Raider

  12. ann coates says

    would like the waltons TV Movies 6 of them to be made available to purchase.

    Out for Christmas 2009 would make a good present for Walton fans.

Leave a Comment

Your comment may need approval from a moderator before it appears. We review comments to weed out spam, duplicate postings and personal attacks. We welcome constructive discussion.