Kami Cotler reminisces about her time on The Waltons in new video
The youngest Walton child reveals fascinating facts about filming the classic show.
Image: Kami Cotler / YouTube
The past and the present have come together again. Much like The Waltons itself, which was made in the 1970s and early '80s but took place 40 years prior. Series star Kami Cotler, who played the youngest Walton child, Elizabeth, recently recalled her time making the show.
In a new video made for her YouTube channel, Cotler discusses the very beginnings, including that the first episode filmed was not the first one that aired. "The Hunt" was the first episode caught on camera, though it aired fourth. "The Foundling," filmed second, was the official premiere of the series.
Interestingly, the network held special family screenings of both episodes right after they were filmed. Cotler notes her mother wasn't sure the series had a chance after viewing "The Hunt" but started seeing potential after watching "The Foundling."
Cotler was only seven years old when the show started in 1972. In the video, she watches the original opening sequence, offering commentary on everything she remembers.
One of the most surprising things she reveals is that many times when the cars were seen moving on the show, the engines weren't actually running! The period-appropriate vehicles looked great but had some quirks that did not make them easy to use on a television set.
They were hard to stop on an exact mark, which is crucial for filming. Even with the breaks applied, the antique autos would continue to lurch forward. Cotler even says the cast learned to jump out of the way quickly so they wouldn’t get run over!
When the old pickup truck pulls up to the house in the initial opening sequence, we see it roll to a nice stop. However, one side of the car is out of frame. Cotler suspects there were "three or four burly guys" pulling the car into the shot.
She also praises Ellen Corby's acting skills and mentions that the exterior of the house was just a façade. The house interiors were filmed on a soundstage. Cotler also admits that while the costume designer loved the rompers Elizabeth always wore, she did not!
Even though it’s just the opening sequence, Cotler’s commentary is both entertaining and illuminating. Watch the her fun and informative commentary video below!