Ellen Corby counted Richard Thomas, Mary Elizabeth McDonough and the rest of the Waltons as her ''own grandkids''

The actress quickly became America's favorite grandma, even though she wasn't one in real life.

There's something special about a grandma's love. If she lives with you, she's the one who's always there with sage advice and stories for perspective. If you go visit her house, the journey is worth it because of the destination. Grandma is the one who loves you the most from right outside your immediate nuclear family. Those of us who have lost a grandmother know what it's like to have one less person praying for you, but we're all so much better because she was here.

To hear Ellen Corby tell the story, her place on The Waltons was completely pre-destined. She was always meant to play a role like Grandma Walton. The role was the culmination of her life's work.

"This show is what I've always wanted, and what I just knew I'd get someday," said Corby. "You see, I believe in positive knowing— not thinking, mind you."

When she joined the cast of The Waltons in 1972, Ellen Corby hadn't ever given much thought to being a grandmother. According to an interview in the Ventura County Star, she quickly acclimated to the role and took the responsibility of being America's favorite grandma very seriously. She never had grandchildren of her own, focusing instead on her career as an actress.

Luckily for her, Ellen Corby's days were filled with the hustle and bustle of production on The Waltons. This meant she was constantly surrounded by young people both in scenes and off-camera.  

The actors who played the Walton kids, Richard Thomas, Jon Walmsley, Judy Norton, Mary Elizabeth McDonough, David W. Harper, Kami Colter, and Eric Scott, became Corby's adopted family for nearly a decade. She got to watch these actors grow up and felt she had a hand in steering them in the right direction. 

"I live alone and never had a family of my own," she explained. "These children on the show are like my own grandkids and I really AM the grandma around here." 

"I'm so darned proud of that," said Corby.

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1 Comments

Blcakandwhitetvfan 6 days ago
She was apparently more like Hubcaps Lesch from TAGS than she was Grandma Walton. Very salty language on set and a very foul temper. She and Will Geer were both gay, which is kind of ironic. I think my absolute favorite characters from The Waltons are Grandpa, Cora Beth and The Baldwin Sisters. I could spend hours sitting with The Baldwin Sisters over tea. And would love to hang out with Grandpa.
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