Throughout December, take a trip down memory lane with us through a series of 2017 News in Review features. Here, we’ll look back at some of the best news articles that focused on the stars of your favourite VisionTV series.
“The Waltons” may have first appeared on television decades ago, but like a fine bottle of wine, the series continues to get better with age. Airing weekdays at 5pm ET/2pm PT, this classic family drama remains a staple on VisionTV.
In 2017, VisionTV.ca was fortunate enough to participate in an insightful Q&A with Kami Cotler of “The Waltons,” receive a look into the early career of Michael Learned, and meet a trio of super fans who made a big investment in the show’s history.
Q&A: Waltons Actress Kami Cotler on Acting & Her Rewarding New Life
From the age of six to 16, Kami Cotler starred as Elizabeth Walton, the youngest child of the family. After acting in “The Waltons” and its subsequent TV movies, Cotler moved away from the entertainment industry, instead choosing to focus on the education of herself and others. Currently, Cotler is Acting Principal at ECMS-Gardena and the Director of Strategic Initiatives for Environmental Charter Schools.
VisionTV.ca caught up with Cotler to find out what life was like on the set of “The Waltons,” as well as what she’s up to nowadays.
Q: You first started on “The Waltons” at the age of six. What is it like for
someone that young to be working in television?
Kami: “For me it was very positive. I was lucky to be on ‘The Waltons’ set. The adult actors and production staff established a friendly and professional working environment. Being one of many child actors ensured there was always someone to hang out with. I think I was lucky to be the baby, so there were many people to look out for me.
“I had the right temperament to work as a kid; I was naturally curious and self possessed. I really enjoyed the rhythm of working on a series, getting makeup, rehearsing, dropping into school while they set up, and filming. I liked the variety and the collaboration. Every week there was a new guest star to meet. Sometimes there were animals or fun props. To me, it was a big playground with lots of playmates. We were all working towards creating a story together.” [Click here to read the full Q&A]
How Michael Learned Arrived on Walton’s Mountain
For 169 episodes, Michael Learned played Olivia Walton and left quite the impression. Although she exited the series in 1979 – two years prior to “The Waltons” TV run coming to a close – Learned is still quizzed about her time on the mountain. During a recent chat with Fox News, Learned explained that she almost passed up what came to be a once-in-a-lifetime role, but is thankful she didn’t.
“Oh, I didn’t want to do it. I wasn’t drawn to it at all! I had finished doing ‘Private Lives,’ which Francis Coppola directed, and I played Cleopatra that same season at the American Conservatory Theater in San Francisco. I wasn’t ready to play a 40-year-old farmer’s wife,” said Learned. “I didn’t want to do it. But I was going through a divorce, and I had three kids to support. I wasn’t getting any alimony at that point. And of course in retrospect, it was a gift from God. It saved my life.” [Click here to read the full article]
Fans Purchase the House that Inspired The Waltons
Earlier this year, the childhood home of “Waltons” creator Earl Hamner Jr. went up for sale and was subsequently purchased by a trio of super fans: Ray Castro, Kirstin DeMaio and Carole Johnson. Since the Schuyler, Virginia-based residence served as an inspiration for “The Waltons,” those involved in the purchase thought it was important to make a major investment on behalf of fellow fans.
“Our main concern was that somebody was going to purchase the house and make it a private residence where it was not available to the fans, to the Hamner family, or the cast of ‘The Waltons,’” explained Castro in an interview with Nelson County Times. “We wanted to make sure that for the Hamner family, this is still their home.”
“It’s very important to us to continue Earl’s legacy as well as the legacy of the Hamner family,” said Johnson. “And, we want [fans of the show] to know that the house is going to continue in the same fashion that they’ve known it.” [Click here to read the full article]
“The Waltons” can be seen weekdays at 5pm ET/2pm PT on VisionTV!