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.

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Michael 21 months ago
Where I watch it, they aired the episode today where Drew wants Elizabeth to spend the night. It's the fifth to last episode, the one where Corabeth walks out on Ike.

It is a good episode. There's no clash, Elizabeth is both tempted and hesitant. A girl growing into womanhood. I see Elizabeth in general being more mature, a move away from being bossed to do chores to taking initiative.
Julie17Deke 22 months ago
I would just be beyond happy if I could watch MeTV consistently. Can’t you boost you signal for antenna viewers?
I live where there is no cable and my observations about dish viewing is that it isn’t much better.
JHP Julie17Deke 22 months ago
I feel for you - I really do - it must be tough to watch a fav channel of yours:(

do you use a digital signal booster on your antenna? they are like under $50
Coldnorth 22 months ago
Was kami in anything other than The Waltons
KamiCotler 22 months ago
Just to be clear, my hyper-judgemental 15-year-old self thought the truck was ridiculous. I've learned since then that serious 4-wheelers know what they are doing. There is footage of Tony Becker and friends and their "ridiculous" vehicles navigating insane surfaces if you search for them on youtube. I now understand what those massive tires were for.
JR KamiCotler 22 months ago
Hi, Kami. I appreciate the fact that you took the time to add some nuance to the article.
Michael KamiCotler 22 months ago
I'm still wondering where the wooden panelled "station wagon" came from. John was getting a job offer, I thought he was loaned the car for some reason, but it remains. It's not a constant, but I noticed yesterday in the episode where Jonesey first appears, it's there
GTStang08 KamiCotler 22 months ago
15...It seems like only yesterday we embraced in those dayz of youth...lol
BruceBaker KamiCotler 22 months ago
I think it is awesome that the actress with definite inside knowledge follows the website and message board which shows her show.
ETristanBooth 22 months ago
"Drew and Elizabeth never tied the knot on the series."

They did become engaged in one of the TV movies, however.
WordsmithWorks 22 months ago
Anytime MeTV mentions an actor was in M*A*S*H*, I try to remember which character he/she played. In Becker's case, he played Private Brown, the soldier who was ordered to do push-ups when he was late to Sgt. Rizzo's Driver Safety class. The episode in which Col. Potter got a traffic ticket.

For what it's worth.
Michael 22 months ago
Mary Ellen was the tomboy in the family. She played baseball, nothing limited her.

Elizabeth just seemed to be young, until season 8, when she started becoming a woman. There is quite a contrast. So the wcenes with Drew didn't seem out of character, but a young woman facing something new, and unsure of where to go next.

Jim-Bob's the same, a kid until he's not. Jennifer Jason Leigh appeated yesterday where I watch it, pursuing him during his brief time in the army. And she even claims she's pregnant, though he doesn't remember. But it's amusing given her role two years later in Fast Times.
LoveMETV22 22 months ago
Enjoy Kami Cotler's role as Elizabeth on the Walton's. She was such a versatile actress that grew with the character. It's great that many of the main cast keep in touch, since the series ended many years ago.
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