Judy Norton didn’t always like the food served in The Waltons, even in the Thanksgiving episode

She always acted the part though, and sometimes that meant taking fake bites.

The Waltons revolved around food and eating more than most shows. The nostalgic drama is famous for its family dinner scenes where everyone enjoys a wonderful homecooked meal. The scenes often took all day to film. It was fun for the whole cast but especially the kids on set to get to eat all day and enjoy each other's company. Or at least, it was fun most of the time.

Judy Norton, who played oldest daughter Mary Ellen, revealed in a Youtube video that she didn’t love everything she ate on the show. If there ever was a particular dish she wasn’t fond of, she avoided it entirely unless she needed to eat it on camera. In those unfortunate cases, she used her acting skills to pretend she liked it or just take a totally fake bite.

One episode you would think contained nothing but delightful dishes would be “The Thanksgiving Story.” But there was one scene, early on before the actual Thanksgiving feast, where Grandma asks the other Walton women what they think of her relish.

“I don’t like relish,” Norton says in the video, “So at the point when I’m being given the relish to taste, I can guarantee I wasn’t eating that relish. I was faking that.” She continued, “If you couldn’t see that someone was eating, if it was something I didn’t like, I avoided eating it.”

Norton also noted a few unique things about the episode watching it back all these years later. There are parts of Walton’s Mountain seen in this installment that rarely, if ever, get seen any other times.

When Ben and Grandpa bring hams out of the root cellar, we get to see the doors open and Grandpa walking up the stairs. Norton notes that there wasn’t a full cellar under the house but even seeing proof that there were dugout stairs under the cellar doors is interesting.

Ben and Grandpa then bring the meat to the smokehouse beyond the shed. As they hang up their hams, we see the dark interior of the smokehouse – a rare location not seen much throughout the entire series.

The two-hour Thanksgiving installment packs in many different storylines, some funny, some dramatic. Jason helping the Baldwin sisters with their recipe, much to Olivia’s dismay, makes for plenty of comedic moments. When Mamie and Emily even offer to adopt Jason, John quips “That’s very nice, ladies, but we’re not giving up any of our children this year.”

Norton also mentions John-boy’s accident at the sawmill which threatens his plans for college and Mary Ellen’s aspirations to be an actress early on in the series. She even notes that one of Mary Ellen’s classmates is played by Kym Karath, best known as Gretl, the youngest Von Trapp child in The Sound of Music.

Watch Judy Norton’s full video below, she even brings on a few surprise guests!

Watch The Waltons on MeTV!

Weekdays at 12 PM

*available in most MeTV markets
Are you sure you want to delete this comment?


Deleted 31 months ago
This comment has been removed.
UTZAAKE 31 months ago
Bellamy Young (ABC's Scandal, FOX's Prodigal Son) stars as Olivia Walton!
Andybandit 31 months ago
How funny that she didn't like the food.
Zip 31 months ago
“I don’t like relish,”

I can guarantee that she has never had my mom's cranberry/orange peel relish. I am not big on cranberry things like that myself, but I could eat that by the spoonful.
LoveMETV22 Zip 31 months ago
Agree, nothing like home-made cranberry orange relish with just a touch of sugar to lower the tartness but still a little tartness is good.
WordsmithWorks 31 months ago
I think there are/were a lot of meal scenes on shows in which actors take fake bites. I don't imagine the food is fresh, warm and tasty. And, as another poster pointed out, after so many takes, the actors get filled up. On some food commercials, I read that there is a container available to spit food into so the actor(s) don't literally get sick of the product they are trying to sell.
CarolKelley WordsmithWorks 31 months ago
In the film The Thin Man, there is a lengthy dinner scene where the murderer is revealed. According to Myrna Loy, the scene took so long to film and the lights were so hot, that the food spoiled.
Cota48 31 months ago
How do I get to watch the series?
LoveMETV22 Cota48 31 months ago
MeTV and INSP both air The Waltons.
Boomer Cota48 31 months ago
Mon thru Friday from 12-1pm ET on MeTv.
LoveMETV22 31 months ago
Thank You MeTV, a very nice story. The Judy Norton video clip was a nice addition to the story and her suprise guests were a nice touch.
Are you sure you want to delete this comment?