Judy Norton reunited with her first onscreen mom a decade later in The Waltons

Norton made her acting debut in the 1967 film Hotel alongside future Waltons guest star Dee Carroll.

Warner Bros. Pictures

Though she was only 14 when she started playing Mary Ellen in The Waltons, Judy Norton had already been acting for five years. She first appeared on TV in a 1968 episode of the police drama The Felony Squad but made her acting debut a year earlier as an unnamed girl caught in the climactic elevator crash scene in the ensemble film Hotel.

She shares the scene with the movie’s stars Karl Malden and Michael Rennie. The woman playing her distraught mother is Dee Carroll, a former bit player in noir films and Westerns who started her career in the 1940s.

Carroll also had small roles on TV throughout the Sixties and Seventies in shows like The Twilight Zone, Bonanza, Petticoat Junction and Adam-12. She played Dr. Vance’s wife, Mady, in two episodes of The Waltons. Her first time on Walton’s Mountain came in “The Burnout” in season four then she appeared again in the season five episode “The Vigil.”  

The episodes originally aired in the spring and fall of 1976, almost exactly a decade after Carroll first worked with the future Mary Ellen Walton.

Judy Norton mentioned reuniting with her first onscreen mom in a behind-the-scenes video she made about “The Vigil.” Norton also noted the episode is Sheila Allen’s first time taking over the role of telephone operator Fanny Tatum. Sheila was married to Irwin Allen, creator of sci-fi shows like Lost in Space and producer of blockbusters The Poseidon Adventure and The Towering Inferno.

According to Norton, “It was very exciting to have Sheila Allen as a guest.” Norton even noted that, “Irwin Allen actually came and visited her on set at some point. I didn’t get to me him. Really a disappointment.”

Norton also talks about which backlot was used for filming this episode, the animal trainer who worked with Waltons’ dog Reckless and many other interesting tidbits she remembers from her time making this touching episode. You can watch her full video below!

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Nala92129 27 months ago
Judy "Norton" no way sounded like a Southerner.
SexyMate 27 months ago
Yes, Judy Norton Was and Still Is Superb at Her Craft of Talent and Wizardries' I'm Glad She Presented A Behind the Scenes, It's Very Interesting as Well as Poetic.!! I Truly Enjoy Watching The "Waltons Series" And It's Quite Amazing to See Their Character's Get Out of Their Dilemma's!! I Get So Excited!!! And Judy, Keep -Up the Wonderful Work You Do!!! And May Eternal Father Bless You.!! (AMEN).!
Michael 27 months ago
In other Walton news, Spencer's Mountain is on TCM in an hour, 1am on Wednesday Feb 16. Short notice, but a hard driinking father and Clay-Boy and other familiars, even if not quite the Waltons
Andybandit 27 months ago
That is great that Judy got to reunite with her first on screen mom.
Zip 27 months ago
I love watching Judy's behind the scenes videos!
LoveMETV22 Zip 27 months ago
Yes, They are interesting. I'm glad Judy Norton decided to do a Behind the Scenes YouTube page. There is an area on there where you can subscribe to her page and ask questions that are Walton's related. I enjoy reading some of the questions and her responses. It's nice to see her efforts to keep The Walton's interest alive.
LoveMETV22 27 months ago
Interesting story. Although recognizable as Dr. Vance’s wife on the Walton's. Dee Carroll. appeared in numerous shows over the years, when I see her it's an I've seen her on .... Had to do a search for
Sheila Matthews Allen for the Walton's reference, and yes she was in 5 episodes as telephone operator Fanny Tatum.
Michael LoveMETV22 27 months ago
Only five episodes?

I think the show used chracters more than on screen. FannyTatum, Mrs. Brimmer, and Maude Gormley all seemed to have a bigger presence than actually on screen. So I suspect there were more references to them even if they weren't in many episodes.
LoveMETV22 Michael 27 months ago
Yep. that's what the bio's on Sheila Matthews Allen and The Walton's said:
- The Return (1978) ... Fanny Tatum
- The Hawk (1977) ... Fanny Tatum
- The Career Girl (1977) ... Fanny Tatum
- The Best Christmas (1976) ... Fanny Tatum
- The Vigil (1976) ... Fanny Tatum
I would think their names (and other characters as well) were mentioned at other times during the series, whether they were in the episode or not.
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