Kami Cotler didn't exactly love it when they cast Elizabeth's first boyfriend
Tony Becker played Drew Cutler, the youngest Walton's first love.
Even for the youngest Walton, there came a time to grow up and find first love on the series.
It happened for Elizabeth in The Waltons episode "The Inspiration," when a boy named Drew Cutler takes an interest in Elizabeth at a moment when all she’s really thinking about is her horse.
For Elizabeth actor Kami Cotler, the decision to cast her character’s first love was just as unwelcome in the real world as it was for her tomboy character onscreen.
Cotler said in an interview that she felt a little uncomfortable at the teasing she received onset when it came time for Elizabeth to fall in love.
"That was hard!" Cotler said. "The crew made fun of it."
But The Waltons producers knew that fans would be eager to see the teenage Elizabeth reach this milestone.
Teasing the ninth season premiere, advertisements for the new episodes hinted at Elizabeth’s new love and dramatically posited, "Will teenage passion cause problems for The Waltons?"
Playing Drew Cutler was a rising child star named Tony Becker.
Like Cotler, Becker started acting when he was only 9 years old, first gaining the spotlight acting across from Jack Elam in the short-lived series The Texas Wheelers.
Before The Waltons, the young boy also featured on the cast of a series based on The Oregon Trail.
Cotler said she enjoyed working with Becker, even if the crew gave her a hard time about her first onscreen boyfriend behind the scenes.
"Tony Becker was a really lovely guy," Cotler said.
But she felt no real attraction to him, she said, because their interests were so vastly different.
"He was sort of a cowboy," Cotler said. "He liked horses, he liked to go four-wheeling, while I, at 15, fancied myself as a very sophisticated intellectual! The fact that he didn’t want to talk about F. Scott Fitzgerald, I was like, ‘Ugh, what do we have in common?’ But he was very sweet."
Later on her Facebook page, Cotler also suggested it may have been his car that blew the attraction.
She said that she thought that the giant truck that Becker drove was "the most ridiculous thing I had ever seen."
After The Waltons, Becker continued acting, guest starring in shows like M*A*S*H and Matlock, then starring in the series Tour of Duty.
In the early 2010s, he seemed to slow down his acting career, but recently he’s begun appearing on TV again.
Although Becker appeared in eight episodes of The Waltons and came back for the reunion movies, Drew and Elizabeth never tied the knot on the series.
That remains a moment missed out on by fans, who even today write in web forums about what ever happened to the young couple, lamenting that they never saw that milestone play out for Elizabeth.
Cotler said it was worth all the teasing she endured when Becker came onto the show, and that though they never felt real chemistry or reunited the characters in holy matrimony, she enjoyed the time they spent together.
"He was great to work with and I think he did a beautiful job in the part," Cotler said.