“The Waltons”: What Happened To The Cast Of The Beloved ’70s Drama?

Based on the book “The Homecoming: A Novel About Spencer’s Mountain,” “The Waltons,” which was produced by “Homecoming” writer Earl Hamner Jr., became one of the top shows in the ’70s with its bright cast of characters and engaging storylines. The show, which lasted nine seasons, won several awards, including the Emmy Award for Outstanding Drama Series. After its final episode on June 4, 1981, the cast of the show reunited for six TV films, including 1993’s “A Walton Thanksgiving Reunion.” We take a look at 12 cast members of the beloved show and see what they’ve been doing since.


12) Richard Thomas

001-12-richard-thomas-6aa6804953ee326dc31cd062ff2a0000Richard Thomas played the lead role of John-Boy Walton, which earned him an Emmy Award in 1973. Aside from acting, the New York City native co-produced the films “For All Time” and “Summer of Fear.” In 1994, he married his second wife Georgiana Bischoff, and they have one son together. Overall, he’s the father of two sons and triplet daughters.


Speaking of family, what happened to his on-screen father?

11) Ralph Waite

002-11-ralph-waite-888a0240d95ef8de44defb44d307bafeRalph Waite is best known for playing John Walton, Sr. on the show. Aside from acting, the New York native tried to run for Congress on three separate occasions, but he came up short each time. Three seems to be a common number in his life; he was also married three times. On February 13, 2014, he died at the age of 84.

His on-screen wife had the same amount of luck with love, though.

10) Michael Learned

003-10-michael-learned-beee374e554d65b031943eeeb6825d88Michael Learned, who played Olivia Walton, was married four times. She entered her first marriage when she was only 17. The Washington D.C. native won three Emmy Awards for her time on “The Waltons.” While filming the show, Michael struggled with drinking problems, but she has been sober since 1977.

What happened to the eldest members of the family?

9) Will Geer

004-9-will-geer-216ada4b286d0736641fb6e94c3271ffWill Geer played Zebulon “Grandpa” Walton, and his performance earned him an Emmy Award for Outstanding Continuing Performance by a Supporting Actor in a Drama Series. Unfortunately, he passed away after finishing season six of the show. Before his death, he created the Will Geer Theatricum Botanicum, which combined his love of acting and gardening.

What happened to Grandma?

8) Ellen Corby

005-8-ellen-corby-d52d9b6cc4b0ab87c0a80163f81af8f2Ellen Corby, who gained an Oscar nomination for her work in the 1948 film “I Remember Mama,” played Esther “Grandma” Walton on the show, but a stroke in 1976 limited her on-screen presence. From 1934 to 1944, she was married to her only husband Francis Corby. The Philadelphia native died on April 14, 1999 from a stroke at the age of 87.

Her on-screen grandson was able to show off his true love on television.