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!

Watch The Waltons on MeTV!

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MarioKlein 2 months ago
Glad to see The Waltons back on MeTV. Thanks for the great commentary about the Waltons from the youngest child Elizabeth (Kami Cotler). I always liked how the family would say good night to each other or say something funny to end the show. Love and trust will keep a family together through the good and the difficult times. I give the show a big LOVE IT!
JoeRay 2 months ago
Kami corrected my assumption (in the YT comments) that in certain episodes when she was shown wearing sandals that they were not Birkenstocks as I assumed. I hope she continues to do the videos. They are much better than those DVD extras when the people involved with a show talk over the show"s audio. Kami stops the footage to make a point about what you just saw. Most voice-overs will be talking about the TV show or film but sometimes it's not even related to what is on screen. Plus she seems to have a very good memory considering how young she was in the first season. Highly recommended for Waltons fans!

DavidWade 2 months ago
Thank you Kami for sharing your experiences with your fans! Look forward to come to say howdy to you and the rest of the family at the next gathering. God bless you and your family!
Drizzt1408 3 months ago
Loved the show when it first aired. I we as seven years old in '72. I literaly grew up with Kami while watching , The Waltons. I am from Baton Rouge, Louisiana.
53535 3 months ago
Kami, Hello from Grosse Ile, Michigan. You and Grandpa were my favorites on the show! You especially. Take care.

Sincerely,
Bob Kamen
Mydoglucky9 3 months ago
I always loved the Elizabeth Walton character. She and Jim Bob were my favorite two for many years.
DonnaMarieEllis 3 months ago
I love The Waltons best show ever!!!!!!
stan 3 months ago
A wonderful show. I vividly remember watching with my mother and siblings. We loved the show and looked forward to it weekly. Mom was born in the 30’s so it was special for her. She remembers the depression and clothes and cars and family life.
DerekBird 3 months ago
Grandma and Grandpa remind me of my Grandparents.
Ednaam 3 months ago
Ellen Corby and Will Greer both led homosexual lifestyles. Not an advocate of that lifestyle, but those actors played their roles to perfection.
Vee Ednaam 2 months ago
Take your homophobia some place else
Thomasdavis62 Ednaam 2 months ago
Is that really a concern of yours? Even if true, and I couldn't care less if it was true, That would be no ones elses concern but theirs. So sorry they let you down!
ChrisBelding 3 months ago
My very favorite show from that time. I am looking forward to part two of this video.
denny 3 months ago
That was a nice little video.
cperrynaples denny 3 months ago
Yes, isn't it surprising how much she still looks like Elizabeth? Fun Fact: Cotler was the only one of the Walton sisters who chose not to continue in show business. She is now a teacher, which is was Elizabeth became in the last reunion movie!
she moved up to principal!
pixiegirl 3 months ago
The Waltons was my favorite family show back “in the good old days” and I still enjoy watching the reruns. Thank you MeTV for keeping this fantastic series available for viewing again and for the new generations.
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