The Waltons creator Earl Hamner Jr. made a sweet cameo in one episode
He sports a big mustache for the small role.
Season two of The Waltons starts with the touching episode "The Journey." Series creator Earl Hamner Jr. states in the opening narration (as the voice of middle-aged John-Boy) that the sad truth that many people live in solitude "brought me close to a remarkable woman and sent me on a journey that I was to remember for the rest of my life."
The story begins with John-Boy planning to take early love interest Marcia Woolery to a dance. But she is not the woman mentioned in the narration, as we soon find out. Old Mrs. Maggie MacKenzie, one of the many memorable single-episode neighbors on Walton's Mountain, needs help fixing her car. John-Boy obliges and is rewarded with stories from Maggie's past.
She speaks longingly of her deceased husband, Michael, and shows an old, black-and-white photograph of him to John-Boy. The mustachioed man in the picture is actually Earl Hamner! It's his first brief cameo on the show he created. Luckily, it's not his only appearance in the episode. We get a much better glimpse of Michael MacKenzie later on.
Maggie convinces John-Boy to take her to the beach, leaving Marcia Woolery high and dry. Mrs. McKenzie remembers setting sail from Scotland with her husband years before. She and John-Boy visit a restaurant called “The Mermaid” which brings back even more memories for Maggie. In fact, John-Boy sweetly asks her to dance and she imagines Michael in his place.
And who do we see playing Mr. MacKenzie in the flashback? Earl Hamner, in a sharp 1800s suit and full curly mustache. It's a poignant, heartwarming moment perfectly appropriate for the man who brought so many to the show.
The quick appearance may have gone mostly unnoticed when the episode first aired but thanks to the enduring popularity of The Waltons, it can be fully appreciated now and for years to come.