The Waltons Cast Deaths You Didn’t Know About (2023)

Did you grow up watching the drama series The Waltons? It was a wonderful story about a family in rural Virginia and their lives during The Great Depression and The Second World War.

The show was created by Earl Hamner Jr. and was based on his book Spencer’s Mountain as well as the film adaptation. The excellent writing and direction made the show into the success it was.

But what really made the show a major success were the incredible actors who made up The Waltons cast members.

Sadly, the main cast members have now left us. Let’s look back at their incredible lives and careers…. Join Facts Verse to learn more about the waltons cast deaths.


Ralph Waite was born in White Plains, New York in 1928. Upon his high school graduation in 1946, he served in the US Marine Corps.

He would eventually study at Yale University’s Divinity School to pursue a career as a Presbyterian Minister. However, he later decided that he wanted to pursue a career as an actor.

He began his career on stage as a member of the Pennsylvania Players in the 1960s. Throughout this decade he began regularly acting in plays both on Broadway and off-Broadway.

He soon began his film career appearing in what are now considered to be classic American films. His early filmography included roles in Cool Hand Luke, Five Easy Pieces, Kid Blue, The Grissom Gang, and Chato’s Land.

He would also appear in popular films during the later stages of his career such as The Bodyguard and Cliffhanger. His later stage work also included the seminal performance of Will Kidder in The Young Man from Atlanta.

He began acting in television as early as the 1960s, but it was his role in The Waltons that made him a household name on television. His role as John Walton Sr. was one of his most popular roles and was one that he loved playing. He even directed a few episodes of The Waltons.

His final acting role was in 2012 when he played “R.L. Dutton” in the film Gabe the Cupid Dog.

He died in 2014 at the age of 85.

Before we tell you more about how each The Waltons cast member died, please like this video and subscribe to our channel for more current news and interesting stories. Now, back to the video… Join Facts Verse to learn more about the waltons cast deaths.


Will Geer was born in Frankfort, Indiana in 1902. He originally decided to become a botanist, developing an interest in the subject by his grandfather.

However, while studying botany he also developed an interest in acting. He began his acting career by performing live in tents and on traveling riverboats.

After working on stage, he began pursuing a film career. He appeared in films such as Winchester 73, Comanche Territory, and Bright Victory. Due to his involvement in the Communist Party and his association with many Communists, he was blacklisted for several years by the House Committee on Un-American Activities.
His film career largely came to a halt, and he returned to theatre. Then, he was cast as Grandpa Walton in The Waltons which made him a household name. This would become the role that he was best known for.

He died at the age of 76 in 1978. Join Facts Verse to learn more about the waltons cast deaths.


Ellen Corby was born in Racine, Wisconsin in 1911. She developed an interest in acting during her high school years.

In her early twenties, she moved to Atlantic City where she worked as a chorus girl. Later on, she would move to Hollywood to work as a script supervisor. She worked primarily for RKO Studios and Hal Roach Studios and was the script supervisor on many of the Our Gang comedy short films.

Ellen Corby worked as a script supervisor for 12 years all while taking acting classes on the side. She also had many bit parts during this decade of her life, though many roles were uncredited.

Ellen had her first credited role in the 1945 film Cornered and had a speaking role in the 1946 film The Locket – though this was an uncredited performance. She also began working as a writer for Paramount studios at this time.

Her big break with acting came when she appeared in the 1948 film I Remember Mama for which she received an Academy Award nomination. This helped her get regular work in film and television.

In 1971, she got another break when she appeared as Grandma Walton in the TV movie The Homecoming: A Christmas Story. This led to the series The Waltons in which she reprised her role. This would become the role that she was best known for.

Sadly, she suffered from a stroke during the later years of working on the show which slowed down her work. In the 1980s and 1990s, she appeared in a few TV movies that were spinoffs from The Waltons TV series.

She died at the age of 87 in 1999. Join Facts Verse to learn more about the waltons cast deaths.


Merie Earle was born in Morrow, Ohio in 1889. While she spent much of her childhood as a singer and a dancer, she actually began her acting career very late in life.

Her feature film debut was in 1967 in the film Fitzwilly. She then appeared in other films such as Fatso, Crazy Mama, Going Ape, and Dr. Max.

She also began appearing on television in the 1960s and 1970s. Merie appeared in TV shows such as Green Acres, The Beverly Hillbillies, The Bob Newhart Show, and All In The Family. But her big break was with Maude Gormley in The Waltons.

Later in life she became a regular guest on The Johnny Carson Show. Join Facts Verse to learn more about the waltons cast deaths.

She died at the age of 95 in 1984.


Beulah Bondi was born in 1888 in Chicago, Illinois. She began her acting career during her childhood appearing in stage plays.

Beulah Bondi first appeared on Broadway in 1925 in the play One of the Family. She continued to act regularly in major stage productions. Beulah began her movie career in 1931 with a role in the film Street Scene.

She continued to act regularly in films throughout the 1930s and 1940s. Beulah eventually moved on to television, starting with appearing on Alfred Hitchcock Presents. Her final television appearance was in a few episodes of The Waltons where she played Martha Corrine Walton.

She received an Emmy award for her appearance in “The Pony Cart” episode of The Waltons. It was fitting that, toward the end of her career she won audiences over with her performance.

As she walked to collect her award, she received a standing ovation from the audience. Hers is truly a remarkable career that we can all take inspiration from. Join Facts Verse to learn more about the waltons cast deaths.

She died in 1981 at the age of 92.


Nora Marlowe was born in Worcester, Massachusetts in 1915. She began her career in the 1950s with an uncredited appearance in the film I’ll Cry Tomorrow – released in 1957.

Her first major TV role was in Law of The Plainsman where she played Martha Commager. Nora’s later TV roles included bit parts and recurring roles on shows such as Gunsmoke, 77 Sunset Strip, The Millionaire, The Alfred Hitchcock Hour, The Donna Reed Show, Petticoat Junction, The Green Hornet, and Barnaby Jones.

Her most famous role was as Flossie Brimmer in The Waltons – a role that she played for 27 episodes of the series.

She also appeared in major films such as North By Northwest and The Thomas Crown Affair.

She died in 1977 at the age of 62.


Mary Jackson was born in Milford, Michigan in 1910. She began her career as a schoolteacher during the Great Depression before deciding to pursue a life as an actress.

Mary decided to attend Michigan State University to pursue a degree in fine arts. She then began performing in summer stock theatre in Chicago after she completed her degree. Mary began her television career in the 1950s during what was known as The Golden Age of Television.

She appeared in TV shows such as Robert Montgomery Presents, Alfred Hitchcock Presents, The Barbara Stanwyck Show, The Andy Griffith Show, and The Fugitive.

In the 1970s, she was cast as Emily Baldwin in The Waltons which became the role she was most known for. She continued to act in television throughout the 1980s and 1990s. Her film work included roles in The Exorcist III, Leap of Faith, and A Family Thing.

She died in 2005 at the age of 95.


John Ritter was born in Burbank, California in 1948. He was born into a showbiz family, with his father Tex being a singing cowboy and his mother Dorothy being an actress.

While John attended the University of Southern California as a psychology major and had the intention of working in politics, he soon realized he couldn’t make his acting talent go to waste!

The breakthrough of his television career came in the drama series Dan August. His next big break was as Reverend Matthew Fordwick – a character which he played for 18 episodes in The Waltons.

He continued to make regular appearances in some of America’s most popular TV shows. One of his most popular characters was Jack Tripper in Three’s Company and Three’s A Crowd. His film career included roles in great films such as Nickelodeon, Skin Deep, Sling Blade, Jack the Dog, Manhood (his final film to be released during his lifetime), and Bad Santa.

One of his last major roles was in the sitcom 8 Simple Rules for Dating my Teenage Daughter in which he played the lead role. He felt ill one day during work and it was later found that he was suffering from an aortic dissection.

He died too soon in 2003 at the age of 54. John Ritter’s remarkable career is another great inspiration for anyone wishing to pursue their dreams. 

Are you a fan of The Waltons? The show was one of the best drama series that America has produced and one that reminds us of the hardship and perseverance that makes the country special.

So that brings up the question:

Do you think that a show like The Waltons will still resonate today? Or are audiences today more eager to watch shows about modern times?

Let’s hear your thoughts in the comments.

If you liked this story, be sure to hit the ‘like’ button and be sure to Subscribe to FactsVerse for more great stories! Hit the bell icon to receive regular notifications!

We’ll see you in the next video!


Which cast of Waltons have passed? ›

Henry Fonda (Clay Spencer) 1982 at age 77 of Heart failure and prostate cancer in LA. Victor French (Spencer Brother) 1989 at age 54 of Lung Cancer in Sherman Oaks, Ca. Virginia Gregg (Miss Parker) 1986 age 70 of Cancer in Encino, CA. Hayden Rorke (Colonel Coleman) 1987 age 76 of Cancer in Toluca Lake, CA.

How many of the Walton family are still alive? ›

Although three of the older family members — Grandma Walton (Ellen Corby), Grandpa Walton (Will Geer) and dad John (Ralph Waite) — have passed away in real life, the seven Walton children are alive and well, and even grandparents themselves!

Does Mary Ellen remarry on The Waltons? ›

Mary Ellen marries Dr. Curtis Willard and they have 1 child, John Curtis, before he is lost and presumed dead after the attack on Pearl Harbor. Eventually she remarries Arlington Westcott Jones "Jonesy" and together they have 2 children, Clay and Katie.

Who played the baby John Curtis on The Waltons? ›

Playing John Curtis was a set of twins named Michael and Marshall Reed.

Who does Erin end up with in The Waltons? ›

Almost all of Erin's romances are ill-fated: the object of her affections either dies or proves to have poor character. Eventually she meets and marries Paul Northridge; they have three children: Susan, Amanda, and Peter.

Why did Olivia leave The Waltons? ›

Her character's abrupt disappearance was explained by Olivia developing tuberculosis and entering a sanatorium in Arizona. She made occasional guest appearances until the show's cancelation and later appeared in four of the six Waltons reunion movies made during the 1980s and 1990s.

Where are the Walton sextuplets now? ›

Hannah is single and living at home in Wallasey with mum and dad while she saves up for her own home. She has two degrees, is a qualified primary school teacher and currently manages an opticians. She likes to shop and has five wardrobes for her clothes. Ruth lives in Wallasey and is engaged to Rob, who works in admin.

Is Walmart still owned by the Walton family? ›

Walmart is owned majorly by the Walton family as well as institutional shareholders. The company's origin traces back to Sam Walton, so it's not so surprising that his descendants are the major owners of Walmart. The company's board comprises independent directors, Walmart executives, and members of the Walton family.

Why did Curt leave Mary Ellen? ›

Embarrassed at his handicap from the war and unable to bear any more children, Curt separated himself from his family and began again, spending his days drinking and fishing.

Who does Jonesy marry on The Waltons? ›

Appearing first in the appropriately titled episode "The Whirlwind," Jonesy strikes up a passionate romance with Mary Ellen. Things don't work out on the show but thanks to the sequel TV movies, that wasn't the last time audiences saw Jonesy. He and Mary Ellen marry in Mother's Day on Walton's Mountain.

Did John Boy Walton marry Daisy? ›

Daisy admits the story to John Boy and decides to return home to become mother to Melissa. She tells John Boy that they can no longer be married, and with that, John Boy takes the job in London.

Did the Baldwin sisters know the recipe was alcohol? ›

The sisters proclaimed the virtues of their father's “recipe,” which was a lot more alcoholic than they seemed to realize.

What happened to Ben and Cindy's babies on The Waltons? ›

Cindy Walton (formerly Cindy Brunson) is the wife of Benjamin Walton, they were married in the Tv series and had a daughter Virginia also goes by Ginny she died from accidental drowning at a young age, they also had a son Charles he was born on Mothers Day on Waltons Mountain but was never seen or mentioned again after ...

Where was The Waltons filmed? ›

The location of the Walton's house, barn and mill was filmed on the backlot at The Burbank studios. Visible from certain angles Walton's Mountain could be see through the trees. Drucilla's pond was part of the Jungle set.

What happened to Mary Ellen and Kurt on The Waltons? ›

Then Curt was killed at Pearl Harbor in the 1978 season, and Mary Ellen found new love with Arlington Wescott “Jonesy” Jones (Richard Gililand) while taking premed courses. The romance was threatened when Curt was discovered not to have died after all, but the two decided their marriage had ended and divorced.

Did Grandma on The Waltons have a stroke in real life? ›

She remained a regular on The Waltons through the end of the 1978–79 season, with Esther Walton struggling with her stroke deficits as Corby was in real life. Although Corby was able to communicate after her stroke, her character's lines were usually limited to one word or one-phrased dialogue.

Where did John and Olivia go on The Waltons? ›

The final appearance of Ralph Waite as John Walton Sr. on The Waltons comes in the final-season episode "The Move." It's an emotional episode, charged with feeling, and it finds John deciding to be the one to take Olivia to Arizona when tuberculosis threatens her health.

What happened to Virginia on The Waltons? ›

In the fourth TV film, A Walton Thanksgiving Reunion, Ginny did not appear at all. Instead, Ben and Cindy's characters made a brief mention that Ginny had died two years prior. They did not give further details about their eldest child's passing, per IMDb.

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