Like many other shows from the ’60s, ’70, and ’80s, The Waltons has a special place in many viewers’ hearts. The TV show centered around the Walton family in Virginia, and it showcased family dynamics in a rural setting. Episodes often centered on John-Boy Walton, the oldest of his siblings, but each Walton child, parent, and grandparent was given plenty of screentime to tell their story.
It seems one actor from the show doesn’t think production paid the cast enough, though. Here’s what actor Eric Scott had to say.
‘The Waltons’ was a huge hit in the 1970s
While The Waltons seemed like just another fictional family, such wasn’t necessarily the case. All About the Waltons reveals the show was created by Earl Hamner Jr. Hamner based John-Boy on himself, and he used his own life experiences to create a show about growing up in rural Virginia during the ’30s and ’40s.
Prior to The Waltons, Hamner wrote a book about the characters that then became a movie. The Homecoming inspired the TV series we all know and love today. And it’s what pushed CBS to create the first season of The Waltons in the hopes that viewers would love it.
In total, the show ran for nine seasons and earned 13 Emmy awards, Entertainment Weekly reports. “People think it was this sugary show,” Michael Learned, the actor who played Olivia Walton, said. ”But it was groundbreaking in many ways.”
”What people who [criticized] the show for being too goody-goody wouldn’t realize is that these episodes were conflict-driven,” Richard Thomas, the actor who played John-Boy, noted. ”We tried to take historical events and brush them up against the family so that there was a larger picture.”
Actor Eric Scott said production took advantage of the cast
The cast certainly had its issues, but overall, they seemed to get along and act like a real family would. Unfortunately, there were plenty of issues with production. Eric Scott, the actor who played the middle child, Ben Walton, told Closer Weekly that the kids on the show weren’t treated well. And no one was getting paid what they should’ve been.
“We did not get rich from that show,” Scott noted.
Michael Learned was treated well by production, but she, too, noticed how the older actors were more well-respected than the younger folks on the show. And she also made a joke about Lorimar, the production company that created The Waltons.
“The running joke was that Lorimar was so cheap that their idea of a party was one can of beer and 13 straws!” Learned noted.
It’s hard to tell exactly how much the stars of the show made. But one forum of die-hard Waltons fans noted Scott once said he was paid $250,000 for the last season of the show.
Scott said he felt a lot of pressure from the studio
Not only did Scott talk about the lack of funds he received while working as an actor on The Waltons, but he also spoke to Closer Weekly about the pressure he felt while on the set. He noted he felt he had to portray his character perfectly at all times without every making things “difficult” for production.
“It was disappointing that no one even called to say, ‘By the way, thank you,’” Scott added. “We were loved by the public, but we never felt the studio appreciated us.”
While production didn’t please everyone who acted on The Waltons, there’s no doubt viewers will fondly remember the show for years to come.
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