After playing Mrs. Walton, Learned has continued to act. She experienced success in daytime television, playing a terminally ill cancer patient, Shirley Smith, on General Hospital . She also took over the role of Katherine Chancellor on The Young and the Restless .
Starkly different from her T.V. character, behind the scenes on ” The Waltons ,” Learned was battling alcoholism abuse. Michael had three children with her first husband, actor Peter Donat. She’s currently married to lawyer John Doherty and they live together in California.
Ralph Waite - Now
After " The Waltons" came to an end, Ralph Waite continued to perform in several films and make guest appearances on popular TV shows. He had a recurring role in Jackson Gibbs on " NCIS ." In 1995, he created the role of Will Kidder in the play " The Young Man From Atlanta ." The play won the Pulitzer Prize.
Waite also lived a full life in other ways. He was married three times and used his platform to express his views on politics. Sadly, Waite passed away on February 13, 2014, in California.
Michael Learned - Then
Before Michael Learned landed the role of the family matriarch, Olivia Walton, her acting resume was meager. "The Waltons" ended up jumpstarting and legitimizing Michael’s career as an actress and she was nominated for six Emmy Awards, taking home three of the awards.
Learned’s disappearance was in part due to suffering from tuberculosis and leaving to get treated in a sanatorium.
Richard Thomas - Then
Before getting cast as the star of the show, John-Boy, 20-year-old Richard Thomas already had an impressive resume, including both works on television and films. One of his first major film roles was in " Winning" in 1969, where he played alongside Paul Newman.
The role of John-Boy was based on the real-life of Earl Hamner Jr., the writer of the show. John-Boy is a contemplative character and reader who has dreams of becoming a writer. He journals his thoughts about daily life and family.
Richard Thomas - Now
Richard experienced a successful theater career after leaving " The Waltons." In 1980, he appeared on the " Fifth of July ." In 1993, he played the main role in " Richard II ." He also performed in four plays at the Hartford Stage in Connecticut during the late 1980s and early 1990s.
In 2009-2010, Thomas appeared in the Broadway play "Race" by David Mamet. He acted alongside James Spader, Kerry Washington, and David Alan Grier.