What ever happened to the seven kids from the Waltons?
One set a skydiving record, another became a teacher in rural Virginia.
On the screen, the Waltons were obviously a large, tight family. That same spirit carried behind-the-scenes, as well. For the young stars who played the seven children of John and Olivia, their costars became like siblings. After all, they grew up and worked together for nearly a decade.
The performers behind the characters John-Boy, Mary Ellen, Jason, Erin, Ben, Elizabeth and Jim-Bob have led interesting lives. Perhaps you have seen some of them pop up in movies and shows over the years. Others transitioned to a private life.
Let's take a look at what these seven actors did after The Waltons.
1. Richard Thomas
The Manhattan native began his acting career before he turned 10 years old, landing roles on Broadway and in daytime television. No wonder he's been acting ever since. Outside of The Waltons, perhaps you most know him from his lead role in the original miniseries adaption of Stephen King's It. Recently, he had a significant role on The Americans, the FX spy series about Russian agents undercover in the U.S.A. Thomas played the FBI boss of the neighbors. In the past year, the former John-Boy turned up in NCIS: New Orleans, The Blacklist and Billions. It's hard to believe he'll say "Good night" to his acting career anytime soon.
2. Judy Norton
Taylor shook her good girl image in the Eighties. In August 1985, she posed for a pictorial in Playboy magazine, an issue that featured an interview with Fidel Castro. Around that same time, an appearance on Circus of the Stars taught her skydiving, which she took to with aplomb. She skydived for a decade, setting some records. "They’ve since been broken, but at the time I held one for the largest formation of women, which was 60," Taylor told Zoomer, "and then the largest formation of men and women, and there was 220 of us." She later lived in Canada for a time, managing community theaters in Winnipeg and Edmonton. In 2016, she released an album called Reflections.
3. Jon Walmsley
Speaking of music, the guitar-strumming Walmsley often had a six-string in his hand playing Jason on The Waltons. He ended up following his musical muse after the show. You can hear him ripping through a guitar solo on the Richard Marx song "Real World" from the album Repeat Offender. Walmsley, born in England, was also well known for providing the voice of Christopher Robin in beloved Disney Winnie the Pooh animated films. He eventually returned to England, moving to Cornwall.
4. Mary Elizabeth McDonough
In 2018, Hallmark aired a holiday movie called Christmas on Honeysuckle Lane. It was adapted from a book written by Mary McDonough, a sequel to her previous novel One Year. If you watched the film, you might have caught McDonough playing the character Caroline Reynolds. Elsewhere, the former Erin Walton could be seen on the Christian network TBN, on the medical reality show McDougall M.D.
5. Eric Scott
The erstwhile Ben Walton went into business. He helped run a company called Chase Messenger which offered messenger service to "all of Southern California."
6. Kami Cotler
Believe it or not, little redheaded Elizabeth Walton ended up in rural Virginia for real. Kami Cotler pursued a career in education, teaching in the Bay Area, San Diego… and rural Virginia, not far from Earl Hamner Jr.'s home! There, she taught at-risk high school students. Currently, she is Director of Strategic Initiatives at Environmental Charter Schools, which operates in the Los Angeles area.
7. David W. Harper
The man who once played Jim-Bob chose a private life after acting. In a rare 2016 interview with Rockfish-river.com, Harper explained that he stepped away from the spotlight to care for his father, fellow actor Paul Harper. Contrary to some reports, he is not an art dealer. That is a different David Harper.