From 1971-1981, families across America watched “The Waltons,” overcome hardships and triumphs the Virginian mountain family faced, through the financial depression and World War II. “The Waltons,” showed a strong love and devotion towards each other and their values, creating a sense of nostalgia which drew families in to watch every week. The show lasted for 9 seasons and had 6 movie specials.
DAVID W. HARPER (JIM BOB WALTON) – Then
The youngest son of the Walton clan, James Robert “Jim Bob” Walton, was played by David Harper. Jim Bob had a fascination for aviation and wanted to become an airplane pilot in the Air Force. He has a fairly good relationship with his siblings, except fought a lot with his brother, Ben. He went to church every Sunday with his family, however, he was often caught sleeping.
DAVID W. HARPER (JIM BOB WALTON) – Now
In 1982, Harper appeared in the television miniseries “The Blue and the Gray.” Since then he has only been credited with appearing in 2 movies, “Fletch” and “3:15.” He has since quit acting and has held various odd jobs. As one of many of his jobs, he worked for Eric Scott’s parcel company. People magazine also reported he plans on returning to school to study history and business. With the history he learned while playing Jim Bob, he is only destined to excel in school.
LESLIE WINSTON (CINDY WALTON) – Then
Wife of Ben Walton, Cindy Walton, was portrayed by Leslie Winston. Cindy and Ben secretly eloped one night after a very short courtship. She had a rich father and drove an expensive red sports car, which does not make Ben’s mother or grandmother happy. They had a daughter Virginia, who also went by Ginny. Unfortunately, Ginny she died from accidental drowning at a young age. They also had a son Charles.
LESLIE WINSTON (CINDY WALTON) – Now
Leslie Winston did not have many other roles than reprising Cindy Walton in “The Walton” TV movies. However, she had a small role on the TV series “Quincy M.E.” and “L.A. Law.” She also did Hollywood work that is not normally spoken about – looping. Looping is mainly voice over work that adds to the sound of a scene. This can include anything from background chatter to clapping. She did this for TV shows such as “Ally McBeal” and “Boston Legal.”
MAYF NUTTER (BOBBY BIGELOW) – Then
Bobby Bigelow, lead singer and founder of Bobby Bigelow and the Haystack Gang, was played by real life singer Mayf Nutter from 1974 to 1976. Bobby hired Jason Walton one night, to play guitar and sing in his band. Jason was paid $3.50. During his time on “The Waltons,” Mayf simultaneously appeared in “The Macahans” and “How the West was Won.” The country singer also released his album “Going Skinny Dippin,” in 1976.
MAYF NUTTER (BOBBY BIGELOW) – Now
Mayf Nutter continues to sing and also act. Since “The Waltons,” he has appeared on critically acclaimed shows “Charlie’s Angels,” “Murder, She Wrote,” “The Dukes of Hazzard,” and “Whiz Kids.” He also had roles in multiple movies like “The $5.20 An Hour Dream,” “The Stone Boy,” and “Hunter’s Blood.” He also still continues his music career with live performances that have ranged from Las Vegas Headliner to Carnegie Hall, and from the Los Angeles Coliseum to The Grand Ole Opry.
DENNIS REDFIELD (MIKE PAXTON) – Then
Mike Paxton is a student at Boatwright University with John-Boy. Paxton, portrayed by Dennis Redfield, gives John-Boy a hard time on his first day for being a freshman. During the episode “The System,” in season 3, Paxton is Student Council President. It is during this episode, John-Boy tries to make a case for Tom Povich not to be expelled. Tom Povich was caught cheating on an exam. Eventually, John-Boy and Mike become roommates at Mrs. Butterworth’s Boarding House.
DENNIS REDFIELD (MIKE PAXTON) – Now
After his few appearances on “The Waltons,” Dennis Redfield appeared in various movies and TV shows. He has reoccurring roles on the TV mini-series “Robert Kennedy and His Times,” and TV show “Hearts Afire.” He has had roles in multiple movies as well, including “Best Defense,” “Dead & Buried,” “The Annihilators,” “Turbulence,” “Problem Child,” and “Problem Child 2.” His last credited appearance was in 1999, in the TV movie “Lethal Vows.”
RICHARD HATCH (WADE WALTON) – Then
The leading woodcarver on Walton’s Mountain was Wade Walton. Played by Richard Hatch, Wade was trying to make extra money for his family by running moonshine for his uncle, Grandpa Boone. He is caught and arrested by Sheriff Bridges. He is then fined by Judge Horsley, either $50 or 50 days in jail. After his arrest he and his wife, Vera, and their baby move out of the city and he began working at the Walton Mill.
RICHARD HATCH (WADE WALTON) – Now
After “The Waltons,” Richard Hatch had a rather successful acting career. He played the reoccurring role of Captain Apollo in “Battlestar Galactica,” from 1978-1979. He was on the remake of “Battlestar Galactica” from 2004-2009, as Tom Zarek. He is the only actor to have appeared in both the original and the remake. He has appeared in movies such as “Seasons of Darkness,” Dead By Friday,” and “Alien Hunger.” His most recent role was the 2016 film “The Enchanted Cottage.”
TONY BECKER (DREW CUTLER) – Then
Drew Cutler, played by Tony Becker, was a school friend of Elizabeth Walton. After Elizabeth ends a relationship with one man, she found her self quickly in a relationship with Drew. He was the only son of Dana and Charles Cutler. He appeared on the show form 1980-1981, during which Tony Becker also appearanced on “M*A*S*H” and “The Ghosts of Buxley Hall.” Drew appeared in 5 of the 6 Walton’s movie specials.
TONY BECKER (DREW CUTLER) – Now
Since his days dating Mary Ellen, Tony Becker has continued to act, mainly in TV shows. Tony Becker is best known for his role as Corporal Daniel ‘Danny’ Purcell Vietnam War series “Tour of Duty,” from 1987-1990. However, he has also appeared on TV series “Walker, Texas Ranger,” “Melrose Place,” “Matlock,” “Murder, She Wrote,” and “Justified.” His most recent credited role was in the 2016 zombie apocalypse movie “2016.”
MISS MICHAEL LEARNED (OLIVIA WALTON) – Then
Olivia Walton was the mother of the Walton clan and was played by Michael Learned. Olivia was a very loving mother, but not afraid to scold her children for misbehaving. She was a very religious woman, who quoted the Bible often, and always attended church on Sundays. Like most mothers, she was very overprotective and willing to do anything for her kids. Learned earn multiple Emmy and Golden Globe nominations for her performance.
MISS MICHAEL LEARNED (OLIVIA WALTON) – Then
Her role of Olivia Walton, jump started Michael Learned’s acting career. She has landed numerous roles including appearances in “Gunsmoke,” “Nurse,” and “Scrubs,” as well as in soap operas such as “The Young and the Restless” and “General Hospital.” Her performance in “Nurse,” earned her an Emmy for Outstanding Lead Actress in a Drama Series. She also toured with a stage production of “Driving Miss Daisy.” Most recently, she appeared in the TV movie “Life Interrupted.”
LYNN HAMILTON (VERDI GRANT FOSTER) – Then
Verdi Grant-Foster, is played by Lynn Hamilton, and lives up the road from the Waltons. When she is first introduced to the show, viewers learned she did not know how to ready. John-Boy figured out her secret and offers to teach her. She accepts his teachings after she receives and invitation to her daughter’s graduation ceremony, which she couldn’t read. In season 2, she meets Harley Foster and they eventually marry. They also adopt Josh, a runaway orphan.
LYNN HAMILTON (VERDI GRANT FOSTER) – Now
Lynn Hamilton already had an established acting career, before she appeared on “The Waltons” from performing as Donna Harris on “Sanford and Sons.” Her career still continued after filming. She has had many roles on many different platforms. She has appeared in TV series “The Golden Girls,” “227,” “Dangerous Women,” and “Sunset Beach.” She also had the reoccurring role as Judge Fulton on “The Practice,” from 1997-2002. Her most recent appearances were in 2009, on the TV series “Cold Case,” and TV mini-series “Dishing Tea with Big Meach.”
RACHEL LONGAKER (AIMEE GODSEY) – Then
Rachel Longaker was the youngest cast member on the show. She was only 6 years old when the first episode aired. Rachel’s character, Aimee Godsey, was the adopted daughter of Ike and Corabeth. In the beginning, Aimee was very shy. However, once she got used to life on Walton Mountain she became very sweet and caring. Corabeth would try to mold Aimee into being just like her. However, she was unsuccessful.
RACHEL LONGAKER (AIMEE GODSEY) – Now
Rachel has appeared in many TV shows since her days on Walton Mountain. Although she never landed any big roles, she has appeared in “American Playhouse,” “Katie & Allie,” “ABC After school Specials,” “Mathnet,” and “Santa Barbara.” She has also appeared in one movie since the show wrapped, “Night of the Demons 2.” Her last credited role was in 1996, in a TV movie, titled “A Case for Life.”
DIEDRE LENIHAN (DAISY GARNER) – Then
Daisy Garner is most remembered as being the ex-fiancee of John-Boy Walton. After they first became engaged, Daisy reveals she had a falling out with her mother. John-Boy tried to fix their relationship and has Daisy and her mother talk. Viewers later found out Daisy had a daughter and refused to marry the father. Daisy put her child up for adoption but she was raised by her mother. After seeing her daughter, Melissa, for the first time in years, she decided to stay and raise Melissa.
DIEDRE LENIHAN (DAISY GARNER) – Now
Diedre Lenihan did not see much action in Hollywood after “The Waltons” wrapped. From 1978-1979 she appeared on the TV series, “Emergency!.” She is also credited with roles on TV series “From Here to Eternity” and “Lou Grant,” both in 1980. In 1973, she married James Sloyan and they have two children together, Samantha Sloyan and Daniel Sloyan. Samantha followed in her parents footsteps and became an actress appearing in shows like “Grey’s Anatomy.”
KEITH MITCHELL COOGAN (JEFFREY BURTON) – Then
Jeffrey Burton is the Grandson of Rose Burton, who is John’s cousin. Jeffrey Burton is played by Keith Mitchell Coogan. Rose began raising him and his sister, after their father was found physically abusing them. During the episode of “The Wager,” Jeffrey write a movie star and receives and autographed photo in return. His sister tells him the signature is not hers and he rewrites the star to ask for another. To his dismay it was not the same signature. However, he gets overly excited when that same star appears with Jason at a War Bonds Rally.
KEITH MITCHELL COOGAN (JEFFREY BURTON) – Now
Keith Mitchell was only a young boy when he joined the cast of “The Waltons.” His role of Jeffrey was only the beginning and his career continued to grow. In TV series, Coogan has made guest appearances on are “The Love Boat,” “Eight Is Enough,” “Mork & Mindy,” “Knight Rider,” “21 Jumpstreet,” and “Tales from the Crypt.” His most notable movie appearances include “Don’t Tell Mom the Babysitters Dead,” “Adventures in Babysitting,” and “Toy Soldiers.”
JUDY NORTON (MARY ELLEN WALTON) – Then
The eldest daughter, and third child, of the Walton family, was played by Mary Ellen Walton. Early in the show, Mary Ellen was considered a tomboy and would often get in fights with other children. She was also often teased by her brothers. She dreamed of becoming rich and famous and traveling exotic places, leaving the Walton Mountain behind. However, as she got older she also matured and became the voice of reason for her siblings.
JUDY NORTON (MARY ELLEN WALTON) – Now
Since playing the stubborn nurse of Mary Ellen, Judy Norton has landed many roles, unfortunately not many leads. Her most notable roles include appearances in the 1997 TV series “Millennium” and an appearance on an episode of “Stargate SG1.” However, she did write, direct and star in the Canadian series “Bluff.” She also wrote the movie “Finding Harmony,” which was released in 2014. She follows up her first screen write, with the movie “XYZ Project,” which is currently scheduled to be released in 2017.
MARICLARE COSTELLO (ROSEMARY FORDWICK) – Then
The first schoolteacher at Walton’s Mountain School, Rosemary Fordwick, was played by Mariclare Costello. She was the first one to read one of John-Boy’s stories and she encouraged him to submit it to a magazine. She was the first one to suggest John-Boy turn his writings into a novel. She also may be remembered for confronting Lucie Bascomb about human evolution. Her husband was Mathew Fordwick, who was played by the late John Ritter.
MARICLARE COSTELLO (ROSEMARY FORDWICK) – Now
After the Waltons wrapped, in 1977, Mariclare played Maggie Fitzpatrick on the short-lived drama show “The Fitzpatricks.” Since then, she has had many appearances on TV shows such as “Lou Grant,” “Hart to Hart,” “Murder, She Wrote,” and “Santa Barbara.” She was married to Allan Arbus until his death in 2013. Costello was also previously a Theater professor at Loyola Marymount University.
JANET GILCHRIST-WALTON (KATE MCNEIL) – Then
Janet Gilchrist first appeared in “A Walton Thanksgiving Reunion,” as John-Boy’s fiance. Played by Kate McNeil, Janet grew up in Iowa, but moved to new York City. She was an editor for Harper’s Baazar. She married John-Boy during the episode “A Walton’s Easter.” During the last special, “A Walton’s Easter,” Janet gives birth to twins, Justin and Jade. She was one of the few characters that only appeared in the specials and not during the TV series.
JANET GILCHRIST-WALTON (KATE MCNEIL) – Now
Kate McNeil has continued acting up until today. She has landed roles in various TV shows including “ER,” Touched by an Angel,” “NCIS,” and ‘Without a Trace.” In 2001, she played along side Mariah Carey, in the feature film “Glitter.” She was also the lead in 1988 horror film “Monkey Shines.” Her most recent roles, in 2016, includes appearances on “Code Black” and “Grey’s Anatomy.” In 1987, she married director and script writer, Roy Friedland. They have 2 children.
HAL WILLIAMS (HARLEY FOSTER) – Then
Verdi Foster’s husband, Harley Foster was played by Hal Williams. Hal Williams came to Walton’s Mountain looking for work. In season 2, Harley marries Verdi, after which he and his son, Jody, begin a family. Verdi and Harley adopt orphan, Josh. We later discover Harley is a wanted man who escaped from prison. He was originally sentenced for killing a man in self-defense. John Walton gets a pardon for Harley from President Roosevelt.
HAL WILLIAMS (HARLEY FOSTER) – Then
Hal Williams was already a veteran actor when he appeared on “The Waltons.” He proceeded to show off his talents on the big screen after his role of Harley Foster. He had reoccurring roles on “Sanford,” “Private Benjamin,” “227,” and “The Sinbad Show.” In 2012, he appeared alongside Denzel Washington in the film “Flight.” In 2015, he also appeared on an episode of the popular comedy series “Parks and Recreations.”
TOM BOWER (DR. CURTIS WILLARD) – Then
Dr. Curtis Willard played by Tom Bower, first appeared on “The Waltons,” on the episode “The Wedding.” When he was first introduced, he was a harsh and rude man. However, after he met Mary-Ellen everything changed. Mary-Ellen and Curtis met while she was engaged to David Spencer. However, sparks flew as soon as the two met and they eventually married. Mary-Ellen helped transform Curtis into a much more polite person.
TOM BOWER (DR. CURTIS WILLARD) – Now
After leaving “The Waltons” in 1978, Tom Bower went onto to have a long and successful career. Some of his most notable performances include roles in “Out of the Furnace,” “Crazy Heart” and “Die Hard 2.” He also took a stab at producing on the three movies “Bill’s Gun Shop,” “Human Error,” and most recently, in 2016, “Neither Wolf Nor Dog.” Bower is a longtime supporter of the Syracuse International Film Festival and in 2011, he was awarded the Lifelong Achievement Honoree and “The Sophia” award for his dedication to the festival.
MARY ELIZABETH MCDONOUGH (ERIN WALTON) – Then
Mary Elizabeth McDonough was only 10-years-old when she began playing Erin Walton, the second oldest Walton daughter. Although she was known for tattling on people, she was very friendly and kind. Before she graduated high school, she became depressed, as she did not know what she wanted to do with her life, unlike her siblings. Later in the show, she becomes one of the most influential workers at J.D. Pickett’s metal factory due to her standing up for women’s rights.
MARY ELIZABETH MCDONOUGH (ERIN WALTON) – Now
Mary Elizabeth McDonough continued to have a stable acting career after the show. She had roles in “ER,” “The Love Boat,” “Ally McBeal,” and “The New Adventurers of Old Christine.” Most recently, in 2014, she appeared in the film “The Costume Shop.” She has written 3 books, her most recently was published in 2016, “The House on Honeysuckle Lane.” McDonough unfortunately also suffers from lupus, blaming silicone breast implants as the source.
RICHARD GILLILAND (JONESY) – Then
Arlington Westcott Jones also affectionately known as Jonesy arrives on “The Waltons” during season 9. He is most remembered for having an affair with Mary Ellen. They had planned to marry, however, things got complicated when her husband Curtis Williard who was thought to have died during World War II may actually be alive. However, Jonesy and Mary Ellen do eventually marry in the episode “Mothers Day on Walton’s Mountain.”
RICHARD GILLILAND (JONESY) – Then
After his days on “The Waltons,” Richard Gilliland continued to act. He had a reoccurring role from 1986-1991, on “Designing Women.” It was on this show that he met Jean Smart. Richard and Jean married in June 1987. He has also appeared in highly popular TV series “Joan of Arcadia,” “Crossing Jordan,” “Dexter,” “Desperate Housewives” and “CSI.” His most recent credited appearance was in 2015 on “Highly Evolved Human.”
JON WALMSLEY (JASON WALTON) – Then
Jon Walmsley brought to life the character of Jason Walton, the second eldest son, with his musical talents. Jon played Jason throughout the entire series and in all 6 movies. Jason at times felt envious of John-Boy, for believing he was perfect. The two fought, however, in the end always loved each other. Jason went on to receives a scholarship to study at the Klineberg Conservatory. He eventually takes over the Dew Drop Inn and marries Toni.
JON WALMSLEY (JASON WALTON) – Now
Not only was he musician on the show, but Jon was a musician in real life. He worked with artists such as The Dooby Brothers, Merle Haggard, and Al Jardine. However, since his role as Jason, he may be best known for being the voice of “Christopher Robin” in the “Winnie the Pooh” cartoons. He has also had small appearances inTV shows “7th Heaven,” and “Its always Sunny in Philadelphia.”
KAMI COTLER (ELIZABETH WALTON) – Then
Elizabeth Walton, played by Kami Colter, was the youngest daughter of the Walton family. Elizabeth was out-spoken and loved to read and write. She was often seen carrying a doll whenever she felt lonely. Viewers watched her grow up as she dated Drew Cutler and went off to college. She came back to the Walton’s to work in the mill. She told her father she was going to marry Drew.
KAMI COTLER (ELIZABETH WALTON) – Now
Unfortunately, after “The Waltons” wrapped Kami didn’t gain as much fame as expected. She was in a few episodes of 70s shows, like “Me & the Chimp” and “The Heist.” Her last public appearance was in 2012, when she organized a Walton family reunion for the series’ 40th anniversary. However, she took her talents to education and is the founding principal of the Environmental Charter Middle School in Gardena, California.
ERIC SCOTT (BEN WALTON) – Then
Ben Walton, played by Eric Scott, was the fifth Walton child. Ben Walton always seemed to be coming up different schemes to make money, getting into trouble and would then be bailed out by a family member. He elopes to Cindy and they have 2 children. Ben eventually joined the navy during World War II and becomes a POW at a Japanese encampment, but he is ultimately released.
ERIC SCOTT (BEN WALTON) – Today
Eric retired from acting after “The Waltons” wrapped. However, Scott is credited for acting in two more movies “Defying Gravity” and “Never Again.” Scott owns Chase Messengers, a parcel delivery service, in Sherman Oaks, CA. He has been married to Cynthia Ullman Wolfen since March 2001. They have two children, and he has one more daughter from previous marriage to Theresa Fargo.
RICHARD THOMAS (JOHN-BOY WALTON) – Then
Richard Thomas played the lead and fan favorite role of John-Boy Walton for 5 seasons. John-Boy is the oldest child of John Sr. and Olivia. His biggest passion in life was writing. After graduating in season 1, he attended Boatwright University and worked in the lumber mill as well as ran a small newspaper business. Eventually, John-Boy finishes a novel and turns it into a New York publishing company. After Season 5, John-Boy became a more minor character. Richard Thomas last portrays him in the 2 part episode “John-Boy Returns.”
RICHARD THOMAS (JOHN-BOY WALTON) – Now
Richard Thomas is arguably and understandingly the most successful actor from the show. He played the lead of Bill Denbrough, alongside Tim Curry, in the TV horror mini series “It.” Other notable appearances include “The Adventures of Swiss Family Robinson,” “The Practice,” “Law & Order,” “White Collar,” and many more. From 2009-2010, he was featured in the broadway show “Race,” with James Spader, David Alan Grier and Kerry Washington. From 2013-2016, he played the role of Frank Gaad on the FX series “The Americans.”