Waltons reunite: There’s a phrase that will make fans of the Depression-era drama extremely happy. I grew up watching reruns of the program on a local station with my mom, and while I didn’t appreciate the show at the time, it has definitely grown on me over the years. There’s a certain warmth to the show that has rarely been recreated, and listening to the family tell one another goodnight is akin to a warm hug from an old friend.
“The Waltons”, which ran from 1971 to 1981, is still quite popular with fans despite the fact that it’s been off the air for a few decades. Of course, reruns have helped keep the show alive in the minds and hearts of its countless fans. The Hallmark Channel, for example, has introduced the program to a generation that is simply too young to have seen the show during its heyday.
In order to celebrate the show’s 40th anniversary, all of the surviving cast members are gathering at the Wilshire Ebell Theatre for a discussion panel entitled “The Waltons 40th Anniversary: Celebrating Family & Education” on Saturday, September 29th. Since it’s been rather difficult to gather all of the actors in one place — several reunions have been staged over the years, though it was always sans one or two of the key members — this is the sort of reunion fans have been waiting forever to see.
Michael Learned, who starred as Olivia on the show, recently told TV Guide, “This reunion, I think, will be the first time that every single one of us will be there… We all loved each other and still do. We were very lucky. I can’t think of anybody who isn’t grateful for being part of it. We really were a loving family and I think that came through the screen.”
Scheduled to appear are Learned, Ralph Waite, and Richard “John-Boy” Thomas, as well as six other children, series creator Earl Hamner, Jr., and a slew of guest stars and recurring actors. Proceeds from ticket sales for the reunion will go to California’s Environmental Charter Middle School, where one of the show’s child stars is now a principal.
Unfortunately, there’s no word if the event will be filmed for broadcast.