‘The Waltons’ Star Judy Norton Revealed the 1 Souvenir She Kept From the Show

Judy Norton grew up on the classic TV show The Waltons. The actor played Mary Ellen Walton on all nine seasons of the CBS show, which aired from 1972 to 1981. But despite the show being an important part of her young life, she ended up taking home just one small souvenir from the set. 

Judy Norton talks about learning ‘The Waltons’ had been canceled

Jon Walmsley and Judy Norton in 'The Waltons'
Jon Walmsley and Judy Norton in ‘The Waltons’ | CBS Photo Archive

Norton often opens up about her Waltons memories on her YouTube channel, where she shares behind-the-scenes secrets about different episodes and answers questions about the show. In a recent “Ask Judy” video, she responded to a fan who wanted to know if The Waltons cast members had kept any items from the set after the series ended. Norton explained that because the cast didn’t officially learn the show had been canceled until after they filmed the final episode, there wasn’t a good opportunity to take home souvenirs. 

“Sometimes that will happen at the end of a show when they know the show is over,” she said. “But for us, … at the end of season 9, we did not know it was going to be our last season. Even though I think some of us suspected it would be, that wasn’t official.”

Norton went on to say that the cast didn’t officially learn that there would be no season 10 for The Waltons until they were “in what normally would have been our hiatus period between seasons.” As a result, there “was no opportunity to either have someone offer something, offer the opportunity for people to choose some sentimental item to take, or for us to ask about something,” she explained.   

The Mary Ellen Walton actor did take her character’s wedding ring 

Norton didn’t have a chance to pick a specific souvenir to keep from The Waltons set. However, she did end up taking one home accidentally. 

“The only thing I ever ended up with was the ring that Mary Ellen wore when she was married to Curt,” Norton shared. Dr. Curtis Willard was Mary Ellen’s first husband. The two wed in season 5. The couple had one child before Curtis was lost and presumed dead following the attack on Pearl Harbor. 

“For some reason, I ended up wearing [the ring] home at times,” she said. “It ended up with me and I think when the show ended for some reason I still had it. It wasn’t an intentional thing, but it was something I ended up keeping.” 

Norton wasn’t sure if any other cast members had the chance to take items from the set. However, she did think that Mary McDonough ended up with some of the dresses her character, Erin Walton, wore.  

One prop from ‘The Waltons’ is in the Smithsonian 


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The Waltons cast didn’t get a chance to select specific souvenirs to take home from the show. But one item from the show’s set did end up in a museum. The prop radio used in the series is part of the collection of the Smithsonian National Museum of American History. However, it is not currently on display. 

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