R.I.P. Earl Hamner, Jr., creator of 'The Waltons' and 'Falcon Crest'
'The Waltons' creator passed away at the age of 92.
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Earl Hamner, Jr., best known for creating the popular television series The Waltons, passed away Thursday at the age of 92.
Hamner's writing career in broadcasting started in the 1950s, with writing credits on a few popular variety shows like The Kate Smith Hour and The United States Steel Hour. In the '60s, Hamner moved on to writing several episodes of The Twilight Zone and Wagon Train.
It wasn't until 1972 that Hamner created The Waltons, based on his 1961 novel Spencer's Mountain. The series revolved around a large family living in rural Virginia during the Great Depression and World War II. It became an instant success, becoming the highest rated drama during the 1973-1974 television season, second behind All in the Family.
After the series ended in 1981, Hamner continued to create stories about the Walton family in the form of television movies, which lasted until the late 1990s.
That same year, Hamner created the soap opera Falcon Crest. The primetime drama followed the paths of Dallas and Dynasty by focusing on two feuding families in California's wine country. Although it didn't quite match the success of The Waltons, Falcon Crest ran for nine seasons before ending in 1990.
In addition to television, Hamner wrote the teleplay for the 1973 film Charlotte's Web. He also has a writing credit for the 2006 remake as well.
Acording to his son, Scott, Hamner died of cancer at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center in Los Angeles.