Whatever Happened to ‘The Waltons’ Kids?

The Waltons kids
Everett Collection/Adobe Express

The Walton family — who shared massive doses of supportive love, exuded folksy charm and excelled at saying goodnight — is the epitome of a large, close-knit TV family. The Waltons ran from 1971-81 on CBS and had six follow-up movies that chronicled the struggles and love of a family living in the Virginia mountains during the Great Depression. Here we track what the seven Walton kids have been up to.

Richard Thomas (John Jr. “John-Boy”)


Richard Thomas

Everett Collection and Paul Archuleta/Getty Images

Thomas, who has been married twice and has seven children of his own (he adopted two of his second wife’s children from her previous marriages), played the family’s eldest son and the series’ lead actor. He’s had numerous successful roles on the stage and screen — including on the Cold War drama The Americans and the TNT thriller Tell Me Your Secrets. He returned to the Waltons universe as the narrator in The Waltons Homecoming in 2021 and A Waltons Thanksgiving in 2022 and has been working steadily since. He recently appeared in 10 episodes of the hit show Ozark.

Jon Walmsley (Jason)


Jon Walmsley

Everett Collection and Bennett Raglin/Getty Images

It’s no surprise that Walmsley, who portrayed the musically gifted, second-oldest Walton, is an accomplished musician, composer and songwriter in real life, but it blew our minds that the actor who played an all-American boy is actually a Brit! He also voiced the beloved character Christopher Robin in Disney’s Winnie the Pooh cartoons. As far as his music goes, he toured in the band with Richard Marx in the ’80s after The Waltons ended. He lives a somewhat secluded life now in Cornwall.

Judy Norton (Mary Ellen)


Judy Norton

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After portraying the family’s eldest daughter, Norton wanted to shed her good-girl image by posing in a 1985 issue of Playboy. She was a regular on Battle of the Network Stars in the ’70s and ’80s. Much like Walmsley, she also became a musician. She started a dinner theater chain in Canada and today remains a working actress living in California. Her most recent role was in the film Motorvation. She has been married four times and has two children. Norton has also been a Scientologist but it is unclear if she still practices.

Mary Elizabeth McDonough (Erin)


Mary Elizabeth McDonough

CBS/Everett Collection and Tibrina Hobson/WireImage/Getty Images

McDonough has worked steadily post-Waltons, most recently appearing in Hallmark Movies & Mysteries’ holiday film Christmas on Honeysuckle Lane, based on her novel The House on Honeysuckle Lane. She also penned a book about her time on The Waltons, Lessons From the Mountain: What I Learned From Erin Walton. She is married to her second husband and has three kids.

Eric Scott (Benjamin “Ben”)


Eric Scott

Everett Collection and Paul Archuleta/Getty Images

Before playing the charming, ginger-haired rapscallion of the Walton clan, Scott was already an established child actor. Today, he is a successful businessman and owns Chase Messengers, an L.A.-based parcel delivery service. He is married to his third wife and has three children.

David W. Harper (James Robert “Jim-Bob”)


David W. Harper

Everett Collection and Tibrina Hobson/WireImage/Getty Images

After finding fame as a child star, Harper now enjoys a private life away from the spotlight of the entertainment business. In an interview, he proudly shared his strong devotion to God and listed his hobbies as music, history, war-gaming, jigsaw puzzles, movies, reading and writing.

Kami Cotler (Elizabeth)


Kami Cotler

Everett Collection and Tommaso Boddi/WireImage/Getty Images

After portraying the youngest Walton, Cotler became a teacher and started her own educational consulting business. Ironically, one of her early teaching posts took her to a rural school in Virginia’s Blue Ridge Mountains.

Tell us, which Walton was always your favorite?

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April 2019

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