The Waltons' ''Sweet Billy'' appeared on three different Star Trek series

He went from Walton's Mountain to the final frontier.

The Waltons episode "The Pledge" is both a tragedy and triumph for Mary Ellen. "Sweet Billy" is a young man who lives on the mountain with his sister (who is played by Will Geer's daughter, Ellen Geer) working hard to give them a good life. His health starts to wane and eventually he collapses in front of Mary Ellen. She finds herself unable to help him, and he passes away.

This makes Mary Ellen determined to go to medical school and become a doctor. When a misogynistic dean won't allow her in because she's a woman, she takes a stand and pushes back until she gets into the program.

Lineback on The Waltons

But let's look at the young man who kicks off this whole chain of events. Sweet Billy is played by Richard Lineback, known for his roles in Twister, The Ring, Friday the 13th: A New Beginning, and even scheming businessman Wally Butler in The Andy Griffith Show reunion movie, Return to Mayberry.

However, he would also end up in the final frontier not once, but three times… in three entirely different Star Trek series. 

His first appearance was on Star Trek: The Next Generation. He played Ornaran Romas in the season-one episode "Symbiosis," about a race that was addicted to a drug that reportedly staved off a plague.

Five years later, he turned up on Star Trek: Deep Space Nine as a Trill in another first-season episode, "Dax."

His final Trek appearance was in 2003 in Star Trek: Enterprise, this time in the third season, playing Kessick in "The Xindi."

But before he ever went to space, one of his first roles was on Walton's Mountain.

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Michael 34 months ago
I thought "Sweet Billy" made two appearances on The Waltons. The one where he dies so Mary Ellen decides to become a doctor. He's reading in that episode, but I thought there was a previous episode, after she takes over the roving nurse's route, where she teaches him to read.

But the actor only has one credit for The Waltons.

And Ellen Geer only plays his sister once.

But, of course Ellen Geer was in the first season episode playing the mother in the Jewish family that comes to Walton's Mountain to escale the nazis
Michael Michael 25 months ago
Sweet Billy appears three times.

First in The Diploma, where Mary Ellen takes over the rural nursing when nurse Nora enters the army.

Then in The Starlet, I guess where Mary Ellen starts reaching him to read.

Both times played by Les Lannom. His sister in the first one is played by Lane Bradbury.

Then he dies in The Pledge, played by Richard Lineback, as mentiined here, and his sister played by Ellen Geer.

Sometimes it's hard to follow characters because the actors change.

LoveMETV22 34 months ago
In memory: Gene Roddenberry would have been 100 years old on Aug. 19, 2021.
Andybandit 34 months ago
I never saw the "Sweet Billy" episodes. I never heard of the actor. Cool that he was in all three Star Treks.
Zip 34 months ago
"But let's look at the young man who kicks off..."
Funny choice of words there, MeTV, very funny.

Man, I've seen this guy on a lot of shows. I don't remember his episode of The Waltons very well, even though I love that show. I mostly remember him for that Star Trek:TNG episode where he plays the "alien" whose planet is going through a "sickness" that later turns out to be drug addiction. I also remember him for his portrayal of the kinda slow but loyal soldier of his buddy "Dave" on MASH, as well as the soldier who wouldn't eat because his buddies got blown away while he went to the chow line for seconds on another episode of the same show. Both were very compelling portrayals by a fine actor.
Moody 34 months ago
I only remember him in STNG. I didn't watch The Waltons much, didn't recognize him in STDS9 & would just as soon for Star Trek: Enterprise.
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