• July 19, 2024

Ellen Corby had the trust of The Waltons cast and crew

Ellen Corby was a veteran, versatile actor with great knowledge about the television and film industry. She was also someone The Waltons cast and crew could trust.

Gaining trust is not easy, but for the talented actress, it was. She was like a grandmother to many, especially the boys on the show. Corby was simply ahead of all actors, and it was something she knew.

In an interview with The Macon News in 1974, the veteran actress talked about her industry experience and how she was able to use that to help her excel. “I’m a little bit ahead of all actors,” Corby began. “I know a little about cameras and other things involved with putting on a show.”

She wrote various scripts for other things and, with Will Greer, the grandpa on The Waltons, worked out scripts for this ’70s classic as well. The cast and crew, including the show’s writers, trusted her with adding valuable personal touches to some of the scripts.

According to the article in the newspaper, one of the reasons she would tweak the characters just a little bit was to make the grandparents more human. “I’m very fortunate to be on that show. I can write scripts, and with Will’s capabilities, the role has opened up for him,” she added.

Another reason the cast and crew trusted her with writing and other things is because Corby always thoroughly explained her choices. She never said, “These are the changes I made, and that’s that.” The changes always had a purpose.

“We talk things over and don’t just say, ‘We want to do this or that.’ The Waltons filled a need, partly my own. I was getting tired of things, even ashamed, but I do not like to duck competition. We [all are happy with the show.] We’re going where we want and are doing what we want.”

With Ellen Corby by their side, The Waltons knew they were on their way to classic TV status. Putting their trust in her, we believe, was one of the best things they’ve done.

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