Richard Thomas had no issue with being identified as John-Boy
Thomas was proud to have played John-Boy.
As nice as the fame and notoriety that comes with playing a successful role on television, those wonderful things can also come to the label of that character onto an actor. Sometimes that label can glue itself onto someone for far longer than is welcome, and it can actually end up hurting an actor's success in the long run.
This is something to be considered when thinking of Richard Thomas, who might as well have a "Hello, My Name Is John-Boy" sticker on his chest as he walks through life. Obviously, there are worse things to be remembered for than the famed Walton, but you wouldn't be wrong to wonder if Thomas ever tires of the association; perhaps it's important to remember that when John-Boy grew up, so did Richard, and they both moved on to different things in new pursuits.
However, you may rest assured that Richard Thomas loved playing John-Boy as much as viewers enjoyed watching him, even after he departed from the show. During an interview with The Urbana Daily Citizen, Thomas confessed, "It doesn't bother me at all to still be identified with 'John-Boy.' As an actor, I feel fortunate that if I were to be identified with a character, that it's one as full and as rich as John-Boy Walton."
Thomas, who developed into an incredibly talented actor with a storied collection of roles, also wasn't worried about the role of John-Boy Walton defining him. He continued, "And people do know that he's not the only role I've ever done."
However, John-Boy is perhaps the role that many audience members identify with personally, as they also grew up watching John-Boy, watching the Waltons live as a family that many viewers wanted to be a part of. Thomas stated, "When they meet me, I remind them of the good feelings they had when they watched John-Boy in the series and, later in the films. And if that makes them feel good, I'm glad."