- Richard Thomas played "John-Boy" on The Waltons
- The actor quit the show in season 6
- This is how Robert Wightman took over as "John-Boy"
Do you remember when "John-Boy Walton" was replaced on The Waltons? The role was most famously played by actor Richard Thomas. But when he quit the series in season 6, a whole new actor took over as the character a few seasons later.
The Waltons gave "John-Boy" a new actor – and new face
In season 8, actor Robert Wightman debuted as "John-Boy Walton." And it took quite the story for The Waltons to pull off a new actor playing the fan-favourite character.
When Richard Thomas left the show, it was said that "John-Boy" was missing-in-action as a war correspondent. In season 8, the family finally tracks him down. He's in a hospital in Europe...
In the hospital, they find a comatose "John-Boy" with a bandaged-up head... and a different face. That was how The Waltons introduced Robert Wightman in the role formerly played by Richard Thomas. The episode aired in 1979.
It was a strange moment, which didn't go over well with many fans. "Olivia Walton" actress Michael Learned also cited the moment as a reason she quit the show that season.
Afterward, "John-Boy" eventually returns home in season 9. Robert Wightman continued to fill the role in the 1980s sequel movies, before Richard Thomas came back again in the 1990s movies. Confusing!