This Waltons kid confessed she had a crush on her onscreen cousin Richard Hatch
"He was way too good-looking to be our cousin!"
Watching Wade Walton cross into a criminal life on a 1975 episode of The Waltons called "The Estrangement," it's clear he's not like the other Walton boys.
The character of Wade Walton was played by Richard Hatch, an actor who today is perhaps best known for originating the role of Captain Apollo on Battlestar Galactica in 1978.
Yet, he hadn't reached that level of stardom just by this point in his career when he appeared on The Waltons, and he was perhaps most recognizable for his recurring role on the soap opera All My Children. He saw stepping foot onto Walton's Mountain as a big step up in his career.
"The whole experience of auditioning and getting parts on TV shows like The Waltons and Barnaby Jones was such an exciting, fun adventure—like going to [Las] Vegas and putting your coins in the slot machines and not knowing what would happen," Hatch told writer Scott Holleran.
What was possibly even more exciting, for all the young girls both in the audience and on the cast of The Waltons, was how boyishly handsome Hatch's mere presence was on the show. "Despite being 'related' [on-screen], we thought he was cute," Mary Beth McDonough confessed in her memoir, Lessons from the Mountain.
"He was always very nice to me and we seemed to connect," McDonough said, seeming to still be holding onto her crush years later.
Even little Kami Cotler who played the youngest Walton daughter could sense the crush-y vibes coming from her older sisters.
"I remember when we learned Richard Hatch was going to be on The Waltons," Cotler wrote on Facebook, according to All About the Waltons. "I was too little to know who he was, but most of the women on set were already in love with him. Very sweet guy."
Hatch appeared on The Waltons twice, making his debut in the 1974 episode "The Conflict."
Although he didn't spend much time on the mountain, Hatch fell in love while on The Waltons, too, not with any of the cast members, but with the experience of becoming part of this special TV family. Hatch told Holleran that The Waltons series creator Hamner was a "wonderful man" to work with.
"I love that old-fashioned world," Hatch said. "Earl Hamner embodies that — as a creator, producer and writer. I love the world he created. He was very gracious to me, open to feedback. I felt honored to be part of that show."
After The Waltons, Hatch quickly moved on to join the cast of The Streets of San Francisco. This was the role that he said allowed him to move on from the baby-faced bad boy roles, like the cousin he played on The Waltons.
"I'd always played someone younger, more often than not, the juvenile roles," Hatch told the Muncie Press in 1977. "The soaps exposed me to one audience set. Now, there is a much broader audience out there for me. More people recognize me."
"He was way too good-looking to be our cousin!" McDonough joked in her book.