The Waltons After ‘The Waltons’: Catching Up With the Cast

The Waltons
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Don’t say goodnight just yet, John-Boy! The Walton family is returning to TV again in A Waltons Thanksgiving, a follow-up to 2021’s The Waltons’ Homecoming, a film on The CW which marked the 50th anniversary of the TV movie that sparked The Waltons back in 1971.

The series, an Emmy-winning CBS historical drama about a Depression-era family in rural Virginia, ultimately aired nine seasons between 1972 and 1981. But the show’s popularity was so enduring that the cast reunited for six TV movies between 1982 and 1997. This latest film celebrates the 50th anniversary of when The Waltons series began in 1972.

So what has the cast been up to since? Scroll down and see for yourself…

A Waltons Thanksgiving, Movie Premiere, Sunday, November 20, 8/7c, The CW


Richard Thomas
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Richard Thomas (John-Boy Walton)

Thomas starred as FBI Special Agent Frank Gaad in The Americans between 2013 and 2016. More recently, he recurred as Deputy Director Van Cleef on NCIS: New Orleans and as Bodie Lord on Tell Me Your Secrets. He also narrated The Waltons’ Homecoming. Most recently, Thomas featured in the fourth and final season of Ozark.

Jon Walmsley
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Jon Walmsley (Jason Walton)

This multi-instrumentalist has been focusing on his music career recently. In 2017, he released his first solo CD, Goin’ to Clarksdale, inspired by a trip to the Mississippi Delta as well as “the songs and artists I grew up listening to and the lyrics that have infused and often describe my own life journey,” as he explained on his website.

Judy Norton
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Judy Norton (Mary Ellen Walton)

Norton wrote and starred in the 2018 thriller Inclusion Criteria, alternatively titled Nowhere to Hide. And last year, she appeared opposite other former child stars—including Dean McDermott and Danny Pintauro—in the web series The Quarantine Bunch.

Mary McDonough
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Mary McDonough (Erin Walton)

McDonough segued into a writing career post-Waltons. In fact, her book Christmas on Honeysuckle Lane became a Hallmark Movies & Mysteries film of the same name, in which she had a supporting part. McDonough is also the founder of In the Know, an advocacy organization focusing on women’s health.

Eric Scott
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Eric Scott (Ben Walton)

As of 2011, Scott was running Chase Messengers, LLC, a parcel delivery service based in Encino, California. Media Village reported at the time that Scott once worked for the same business as an assistant.

David W. Harper
Eric Scott

David W. Harper (Jim-Bob Walton)

As of 2019, Harper was an art dealer in Los Angeles, according to the Daily Mail. Not so coincidentally, he once worked as a driver for former co-star Eric Scott’s delivery service.

Kami Cotler
David W. Harper

Kami Cotler (Elizabeth Walton)

Cotler was the founding principal of the Environmental Charter Middle School in Gardena, California, and now she’s Director of Strategic Initiatives at Environmental Charter Schools, according to her bio. IMDb, meanwhile, reports that Cotler had an uncredited cameo in co-star Mary Elizabeth McDonough’s Christmas on Honeysuckle Lane Hallmark movie.

Ralph Waite
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Ralph Waite (John Walton Sr.)

Waite died in 2014 after a five-decade acting career. Some of his last on-screen roles included Gibbs’ father on NCIS, Booth’s grandfather on Bones, and Father Matt on Days of Our Lives.

Michael Learned
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Michael Learned (Olivia Walton)

In 2010, Learned played Shirley Smith on General Hospital, and the following year, she played Katherine Chancellor on The Young and the Restless. Most recently, she appeared in the Netflix series Monster: The Jeffrey Dahmer Story.