‘The Waltons’: 2 Lead Actors Were Always Mooning Co-Stars

It is hard to believe that almost five decades have passed since The Waltons first premiered, but it has, in fact, been that long. The popular show was an American drama television series that revolved around a family who resided in a rural Virginia town near the Blue Ridge Mountains, as they navigated their way through the difficult times of financial depression and World War II. Created by Earl Hamner, Jr., The Waltons was based upon a book and movie both titled Spencer’s Mountain, and it garnered a huge fan base throughout its nine-season run.

The show starred actors including Eric Scott, Mary Beth McDonough, Philip Leacock, and more, and having spent so much time together over the years, it is likely that they all had a great relationship. In fact, we do know that there were pranks that went on behind the scenes, and looking back, it would seem that everyone always had a good laugh. Let’s talk about The Waltons, and how two lead actors were always mooning their co-stars. 

Top Row From Left: Eric Scott as Ben Walton, Mary McDonough as Erin Walton, executive producer Earl Hamner, Jon Walmsley as Jason Walton, David Harper as Jim-Bob Walton. Bottom line from left: Kami Cotler as Elizabeth Walton, Michael Learned as Olivia Walton, Ralph Waite as John Walton, Judy Norton as Mary Ellen Walton smiling, in black and white
Top Row From Left: Eric Scott as Ben Walton, Mary McDonough as Erin Walton, executive producer Earl Hamner, Jon Walmsley as Jason Walton, David Harper as Jim-Bob Walton. Bottom line from left: Kami Cotler as Elizabeth Walton, Michael Learned as Olivia Walton, Ralph Waite as John Walton, Judy Norton as Mary Ellen Walton | CBS Photo Archive

What was ‘The Waltons’ all about?

Just about everyone has at least heard of The Waltons, but in case there is anyone who is not familiar with the premise of the show, we will do a quick recap. The show was narrated by its creator, and according to Hallmark Drama, it was a family-friendly show that families looked forward to and enjoyed. Each episode told the stories of the Walton family, led by parents John and Olivia, and their children: John-Boy, Jason, Mary Ellen, Elizabeth, Jim-Bob, Erin, Ben, and Joseph (who sadly died when he was born). During its run, The Waltons won two Golden Globe Awards, plus an Emmy Award for Outstanding Drama Series, and the actors won several awards as well. Although the show was fictional, it was loosely based on the life of Hamner, Jr., and his small-town adventures during uncertain times.

Who were some main characters?

RELATED: ‘The Waltons’ An Actor Said Production Took Advantage of the Cast: ‘We Did Not Get Rich From That Show’

Fans of the Waltons will certainly remember some of the show’s main characters, including those played by Michael Learned, Ralph Waite, and Will Geer. The three of them played Olivia, John, and Grandpa Zebulon (Zeb), respectively, and they never failed to disappoint with their performances. According to Hollywood Reporter, Learned was credited in the show as “Miss Michael Learned” to avoid gender confusion, and her role as Olivia led to other notable roles, both onstage and in productions.

It was from his role in The Waltons that Waite rose to fame, and he loved acting so much that he continued on for decades. The actor made appearances in some modern shows such as Grey’s Anatomy and NCIS before passing away in 2014. Geer was a beloved actor, having taken over the role of the Walton family patriarch from Edgar Bergen, and played the character until his death after the completion of season 6.

2 lead actors were always mooning their co-stars

The Waltons may have been a classic family drama, but that doesn’t mean that the cast didn’t enjoy some fun when the cameras weren’t rolling. So, what did they do? MeTV reports that Waite and Geer used to moon their co-star, Learned, each and every time the chance presented itself, and they had a great time while doing it. Learned looks back on what happened, and says that her two co-stars “insisted on mooning [the cast] any chance they got.” She continued on by saying, “I saw more of their rear-ends than I ever wanted to see.” Looks like the actors insisted on entertaining each other behind the scenes and that the other co-stars look upon the memory fondly.