‘The Waltons’: This Cast Member Was Often Naked on the Set, Michael Learned and Eric Scott Confirm

The Waltons was a wholesome family show, but it wasn’t always wholesome behind the scenes. Some of the stars like Ralph Waite, Ellen Corby and Will Geer have died, and the remaining cast members Michael Learned, Eric Scott and Richard Thomas are sharing some of their naughty stories. 

The Waltons family
Back L-R: Michael Learned, Richard Thomas and Ralph Waite Center L-R: Jon Walmsley, Ellen Corby, Will Geer, Kami Cotler and David W. Harper Bottom L-R: Judy Norton Taylor, Eric Scott and Elizabeth McDonough | CBS Photo Archive/Getty Images

Learned, Scott and Thomas were part of a Waltons reunion for Stars in the House. Stars In the House raises money for The Actors Fund, to help show business workers struggling without work during the pandemic. This story of nudity on the set surely raised some donations.

‘The Waltons’ star who always showed his butt to Michael Learned

Everyone in The Waltons cast had nice things to say about Geer, who played The Grandfather. Geer stood up against the Joseph McCarthy blacklist, planted the Waltons’ garden and made new friends every day on set, according to his costars. He also liked to moon them. 

Waltons Will Geer and Mary McDonough
Mary Elizabeth McDonough and Will Geer | CBS Photo Archive/Getty Images

“I saw more of his ass than I ever wanted to see,” Learned said. “The two of them, he and Ralph would just moon. Not when the kids were around. They would never do that in front of the kids but I went screaming into the night.”

It was hard to get Will Geer dressed for ‘The Waltons’

Scott suggested that Geer may have been a nudist in real life. He recounted the struggle to get Geer to wear anything in The Waltons. 

“I don’t think that Will wore much clothes off of the set,” Scott said. “When you saw him putting on his overalls and he had no shirt underneath and he had one strap on, that’s as good as he got that day. That was Will.”

More Will Geer stories

Will Geer was certainly beloved by the cast of The Waltons. He also challenged them with his improvisations. 

“Will never said the same thing twice ever,” Scott said. “So you never knew when to start talking, but if you waited for him to stop talking, you would never get a word in. You would have to eventually just butt yourself in and just start saying your lines because that was Will. He would just keep on talking and there was no way of knowing when your line was supposed to come out.”

Thomas learned this the hard way.


A Major Piece of ‘The Waltons’ Set Was Originally on a Spin-Off of ‘The Andy Griffith Show’

“I remember we all, when we did our first scenes around the table, we all had to pick our spot at the table. I forget who directed that episode but we had to pick our spot. Of course, fool that I was at the time, I chose a spot between  Kami Cotler and Will Geer. I sat myself down between this adorable beautiful seven year old and the scene stealing machine who had been around. That was it. It was really like forget working with alligators. This was really serious stuff.”