• May 26, 2024

The Star Of The Waltons Who Posed For Playboy – The List

The cast of The Waltons in 70sUnited Archives/Getty Images

If you wanted to put two famous titles together, the wholesome TV series “The Waltons” and the revealing men’s entertainment magazine Playboy probably wouldn’t be the first pair that come to mind.

“The Waltons” were introduced to television in 1971 via the made-for-TV movie “The Homecoming: A Christmas Story,” as noted by IMDb. A year later, the series kicked off, premiering on September 14, 1972. A staple on primetime television, “The Waltons” aired on the CBS network from 1972-1981, with a total of 212 episodes (via IMDb). Centered around a family living in Virginia during the 1930s and 1940s — according to Warner Bros. Entertainment — the show tells the tales of the Walton family, including parents Olivia and John, along with their seven children.

Playboy has a long history, debuting its first issue in December 1953 with Marilyn Monroe as the cover girl according to InStyle. The publication featured a bevy of beautiful women over the years, in various stages of undress, including stars like Drew Barrymore, Cindy Crawford, Barbra Streisand, Madonna, and even Marge Simpson. But you might not realize that one of the children from “The Waltons” also posed for the magazine.

Judy Norton, aka Mary Ellen Walton, Posed for Playboy

Judy Norton smiling at event Eugene Powers/Shutterstock

Surprise! Judy Norton, the actress who played the eldest daughter Mary Ellen Walton, graced the cover of Playboy in August 1985, several years after “The Waltons” ended. Norton was featured on the cover wearing a sheer bodysuit, and on the interior of the magazine in a pictorial.

Her appearance was unexpected, as most of America had been watching her since she made her debut as Mary Ellen Walton (per IMDb) at the age of 13, in the pre-series movie “The Homecoming: A Christmas Story.” Her character on “The Waltons” was a sports-playing tomboy, according to Fox News, who grew up on the show, allowing her fans to follow her journey to womanhood.

Years later, Norton told Fox News her decision to pose for Playboy was influenced by her managing team at the time. “They felt it would be a good, positive career move,” she revealed in the interview. “I learned a lot of lessons from it, in terms of trusting my own instinct and decisions more than other people’s.”

Judy Norton After The Waltons

The Waltons cast posing at eventKevork Djansezian/Getty Images

After her success as Mary Ellen on “The Waltons,” Judy Norton went on to appear in six additional TV movies based on the series, the last being “A Walton Easter” in 1997 (via IMDb). She’s also been a guest star on several primetime TV series, popping up as a judge in “Ed” in 2000, and as the regular character Sophia Wyndom in the Canadian series “Bluff” from 2013-2014. She also made appearances on the YouTube series “The Quarantine Bunch” in 2020, a spoof about a support group of child actors that occurs via Zoom during the COVID-19 pandemic.

In addition to acting, Norton is also a singer. Her website shares she was part of the “A Walton Christmas — Together Again” album released in 1999 and has her own solo album titled “Reflections,” which showcases a live performance of Norton’s favorite Broadway show tunes and standards.

She also continues to celebrate her role as Mary Ellen Walton and is still friends with many of “The Waltons” cast members. “They are my family. I love them. We’re super-close,” Norton told Fox News. “It was a very special bond that we still share.”

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