Michael Learned always wanted an opportunity to play a ''nasty lady''

Michael Learned was ready to shed her Olivia Walton image.

Be honest, you probably wanted Olivia Walton to be your mother, right? Smart, sincere, and mature, she was every child's dream mother. However, it seemed that Michael Learned was dreaming of other roles after her time as the Walton matriarch. 

In an interview with The Leader-Post, Learned revealed, "I keep waiting to hear someone say they'd like to cast me as a villainous character, but that doesn't happen. Instead, I get calls to play the good woman; the strong woman; someone who can face problems without falling apart, and manages, at the same time, to keep everyone else from falling apart as well. She is devoted to her family, feeds stray animals, and does everything right."

While the part of Olivia Walton was the role of a lifetime, it definitely led Learned to a journey of fighting typecasting. She reasoned, "I'm sure that when they're casting for these productions and someone suggests me, someone else will probably say: We can't use her. She's the mother from The Waltons."

However, she revealed that her hope was waning. She continued, "I've almost given up. But maybe someday I'll have a chance to play one of those nasty ladies."

One might wonder whether Learned regretted taking the role of Olivia Walton. In an interview with The Record-Journal, Learned wasn't regretful, but rather, reflective. She said, "I wouldn't say that I'm haunted by Olivia Walton, but something stuck. I keep getting cast as 50-55-year-old women, and of course, they're always so nice."

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CoreyC 9 months ago
I believe Michael Learned played an evil mother who supported her rapist son on Law and Order SVU.
LoveMETV22 9 months ago
Unfortunately "typecasting" exists. Wonder how many actors/actresses have missed out on roles because of that. Although from the Producer/Network side of things they probably have to look at many factors when casting roles, viewership for TV series and Box Office sales for Films. Guess there's no magic solution where everyone wins.
Snickers LoveMETV22 9 months ago
George Reeves was in Gone with The Wind. I mention this as being typecast as Superman on TV few people are aware he was a serious actor.
LoveMETV22 Snickers 9 months ago
Your right. The funny thing is when you said George Reeves, the first thing most people think is Superman.
I guess it has its positives and negatives. I would guess those that choose/chose the entertainment field as their path know the ups and downs. They're certainly a resilient bunch.
Snickers LoveMETV22 9 months ago
Sadly in Reeves case it was on the negative side as he ended up taking his own life because of being typecast as superman.
11brendle 9 months ago
There is a lot of fun debate on the Gunsmoke pages on FB about whether Matt Dillon would have been happier with Mike (Michael Learned) or Kitty. Some fans get very emotional about it, haha.
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