Ronnie Claire Edwards had a whirlwind marriage while filming The Waltons

Her character Corabeth's wedding kept her on Walton’s Mountain, but behind the scenes, love didn’t last.

The first time we meet Corabeth on The Waltons, she’s still a Walton, not yet a Godsey.

In the third season episode "The Matchmakers," John’s cousin Corabeth comes to visit after her mother passes away.

Never having married, Corabeth is surprised when her seeming opposite Ike Godsey takes a liking to her and proposes marriage by the episode’s end.

It was a whirlwind courtship, but they do get married, and after their nuptials, actor Ronnie Claire Edwards, who played Corabeth, became a regular on the show until the series ended in 1981.

That episode aired in 1975, and the very next year, Edwards got married in the real world to movie producer, actor and key grip Bill Record.

Their wedding took place on Labor Day in 1976, and soon, the couple had moved in together into a big house where they planned to live happily ever after. Edwards gushed to reporters that even though she’d released an album that year, her new husband was the highlight of her life.

"I’d rather have the Record than the album," she insisted.

Soon, the couple decided they wanted to host a party with an Old Western theme, and that meant they wanted to convert one of the rooms in their big house into a saloon straight out of Gunsmoke.

There was just one problem with their plan, Edwards told the Valley News in 1977.

"We both wanted a saloon," Edwards said. "I couldn’t buy a bar to go in this room, because they’re too big. It’d be like trying to move a couple of baby grand pianos."

Since they couldn’t bring in a bar to make their dream saloon, Edwards and Record decided to build one themselves.

Record took on most of this task, spending the next four days before their party designing and constructing the saloon.

"He’s very talented in that direction," Edwards said admiringly.

In the end, it was essentially a huge façade that Record built, rather than a functioning bar. Either way, the saloon became the centerpiece of their new home.

"It’s a funny room," Edwards said. "It’s just a set. It’s perfect for entertaining. When people see the room, they just holler. People just gravitate in here. This is the room everybody stays in."

Over time, though, not even having their own saloon could keep the couple happy together, and less than a year after marrying, Edwards filed for divorce from Record on July 1, 1977.

It seems that behind the scenes of The Waltons, where Corabeth’s whirlwind courtship landed her a lifetime partner in Ike, Edwards’ whirlwind marriage in the real world was, like that saloon façade, not built to last.

Edwards didn’t let her marriage ending stop her from moving into yet another unusual home, though.

Eventually, Edwards moved to Dallas where she converted a Catholic Church into an equally eccentric mansion.

It was a place of her own to live out the rest of her career.

When Edwards passed away in 2016, her longtime friend and business partner Marty Van Kleeck said the saloon and her converted church home were symbols of what made Edwards such a uniquely mesmerizing friend.

"She was incredibly creative and imaginative," Van Kleeck told The Windsor Star. "She was one of a kind, the kind of person you hope you meet in your lifetime and rarely get the opportunity to."

On The Waltons, Edwards saw her character Corabeth as "a married old maid with pretension."

Her castmate Mary McDonough (Erin Walton) saw Edwards as the bigger character of the two.

"Corabeth was a character and Ronnie Claire was an even bigger character," McDonough said. "She was larger than life and so whip-smart and funny."

Playing Corabeth, Edwards never fell out of love with polarizing audiences.

She told producer Ray Castro that she relished her role on The Waltons.

"When fans around the world come up to you and say, 'I love to hate you,' you know that the actor has done her job," Castro recalled Edwards saying of what it was like portraying the character that became her most famous TV role.

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Nadia1 5 months ago
Not able to view the waltons
denny 29 months ago
Edwards was the author of several books, including memoirs published in 2012. In 2000, The Knife Thrower's Assistant: Memoirs of a Human Target was published. She previously had created and performed a one-woman show under the same title, which she took to the Edinburgh Fringe in 1993.[4] She also co-wrote a musical play Idols of the King as a tribute to Elvis Presley's career, legacy and most passionate fans.[5]

From Wikipedia
KirwoodDerby 30 months ago
Here’s a funny side note about Ronnie. Maybe 20 or so years ago I was watching Antiques Roadshow and here she is just like any other visitor getting an item appraised. I don’t even recall what it was but it turned out to be of significant value and that was it. No one acknowledged knowing her note did she claim to be anyone famous. She just seemed happy that her item had some value. Did anyone else catch that show?
denny KirwoodDerby 29 months ago
She briefly appeared on an episode of PBS's Antiques Roadshow (2008) from Dallas, Texas, when she brought in for appraisal a chair formerly owned by P.T. Barnum. 
lexlady 30 months ago
I enjoy the old runs of the 60, 70 & 80's.
BarnabyMannix 30 months ago
10/12 which is surprising, considering there was no quiz...
LoveMETV22 30 months ago
I wonder though how Joe Conley (Ike), landed the brief role on Castaway (2000). TG for Google.
LoveMETV22 LoveMETV22 30 months ago
Looks like he still enjoyed acting, the Castaway role was his 2nd to last appearance. Albeit most of his appearances post Walton's (the series) were Walton's related.
LoveMETV22 30 months ago
I think the creators of the Walton's at the time made a wise choice casting Edwards in the role of Corabeth. She played well off Joe Conley's Ike role and gave the series a villainess that it didn't have.
Andybandit 30 months ago
I never really liked the Corabeth character on the Walton. She mean and rude.
I don't think you were supposed to like Corabeth, she was quite "uppity" compared to most Walton's regulars. I never thought of her as a villain like this article says though, just a snob.
Pacificsun 30 months ago
A very interesting article. I knew nothing about this actor, and appreciated catching up. Her role, or at least how she approached it, suggested she was unique enough. But the real question is how did her fellow actors react to her. Did they appreciate the challenge. Or assume she was upstaging them, in order to stand out from the clan?

Good food for thought in this article, thank you.
Maybe somebody will write an article about your thoughts if we wait a bit. That does sound like an interesting story.
Are you one of the writers, just curious (with a smile).

Nobody, I mean nobody, remembers this. But a long, long time ago one collection of writers kind of introduced themselves. One actually got to put their name on a story.

But that stopped quick. And now (they?) or partners (?) get to share the spotlight!
LoveMETV22 Pacificsun 30 months ago
Was it prior to:
I think it was their first story- at least that's how far Stories go back.
Pacificsun LoveMETV22 30 months ago
Well. You are some fine, historian!! I am impressed!! So cool to find that old of a story. How'd you do that?

Anyway, what happened is that they changed (I don't know if "platforms" is the right term). But when they did that, the comments (full threads) didn't stay with the stories. And the clock on them (weirdly) started over. Although the date of the story itself stayed true). And the credit went to MeTV Staff. But I KNOW I saw one real person's individual name, because I thought how cool. To know who's writing these stories. In 2013, that was SUCH a novel thing to be doing. (Oh the commenting platform was Disqus back then too).

Thank you for sharing this!!!!
LoveMETV22 Pacificsun 30 months ago
Just clicked on stories and scrolled back until it wouldn't go any further. your quite welcome.
harlow1313 30 months ago
I am unsure what to think about her extravagance. I find conspicuous consumption off-putting. Luckily, I am comfortably poor (middle-classed, I suppose), a perfect spot from which to observe.
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