- The Waltons was a famous series from the '70s
- Many of the actors have since passed away
- Learn more about the cast below
The Waltons followed the "Walton" family of Virginia for nine seasons set in the 1930s and '40s. On top of the series, which aired from 1972 to 1981, there were also several films with the cast in the '80s and '90s.
The Waltons: "Sam" actor Will Geer died during the series
While The Waltons was lighting up TV screens, the audience had to say goodbye to one star: Will Geer, who played the grandfather "Sam." He died in 1978 of respiratory failure. The series addressed the beloved actor's death by saying "Sam" had a heart attack.
Geer's screen wife Ellen Corby, a.k.a. grandmother "Esther," had a stroke in real life while on The Waltons. This was written into the series, as it caused the actress problems with her speech. After a long illness, she died in 1999.
Peggy Rea and Ralph Waite have already passed away
"Rose Perkins," a relative who appears at the end of the series, was played by Peggy Rea. The actress died of heart failure in 2011 at the age of 89 years.
It was particularly sad to say goodbye to the former family man "John Walton Senior." His actor Ralph Waite died of old age in 2014.
In addition to the cast of the main characters, other supporting actors have also passed on. Ronnie Claire Edwards, who played "Corabeth Godsey," died in 2016 at age 83. Helen Kleeb, a.k.a. "Miss Mamie Baldwin," died in 2003 at the age of 96.
More losses from The Waltons cast
In 2013, the world said goodbye to Joe Conley, a.k.a. salesman "Ike Godsey," who died at 85 from dementia. "Emily Baldwin" actress Mary Jackson also passed away in 2013. She was 95 years old.
John Ritter, who played "Rev. Matthew Fordwick," passed in 2003 at the age of just 54 from the effects of a ruptured aorta. "Sheriff Ep Bridges" was played by John Crawford. He died of a stroke in 2010 at the age of 90. "Maude Gormley" actress Merie Earle succumbed to uremia poisoning in 1984 at the age of 95.
Despite the deaths among the Waltons cast, many actors on the series are still living now. On a brighter note, the child actors and mother "Olivia" are still partly active in the film business today.
There was also a new Waltons TV movie released in 2021, and starred Richard Thomas who narrated the reboot film.
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