Photo Flash: The Waltons Reunite for Memoir Release
One of television's royal families gathered this weekend, to celebrate one of their own. "I can't believe they are all here!" declared a voice from the audience in response to seeing eight cast members from the hit series "The Waltons" up in front of fans on Saturday afternoon in Los Angeles. Michael Learned (Olivia Walton/Momma) wasn't surprised at all saying, "Mary has always been the one to instigate gatherings. Sometimes, she calls and says, 'OK it's about time we got together."
The cast gathered on this occasion to celebrate the release of the first Walton family members memoirs, released by Mary McDonough (erin walton), entitled Lessons From the Mountain: What I Learned From Erin Walton (Kensington Publishers, 2011, $25.00), which has already won THE ELLA DICKEY LITERACY AWARD. Ms. McDonough read a selection from the book - a favorite reference to those now famous dinner table scenes that have become such an iconic image in American Pop Culture. Other cast members, including David Harper (jim Bob Walton), Judy Norton (mary ellen walton), Jon Walmsley (jason walton) Eric Scott (Ben Walton) and Kami Cotler (elizabeth walton) chimed in with laughter, brief anecdotes as well as in song, though slightly off key, by Ralph Waite (John Walton Sr.).
Unable to join the festivities, due to a commitment in New York, was older TV brother Richard Thomas (jon boy walton), who offered in writing, ""Her intelligence, wit and insight guarantee that she will tell her story and ours in a moving and delightful way. Also, her status as a successful child performer qualifies her on the fascinating subject of children in show business."
The fans were clearly there to pay homage and none were to be disappointed as the clan hung around to chat and sign copies of Ms. McDonough's book. The only disappointment to the event was that there weren't enough books to accommodate the crowd. The evening could have gone on had the hour not grown late, so in historic TV tradition all eventually had to say ...
Good night Erin, Good night Jim Bob, Good night Mary Ellen, Good night Jason, Good night Elizabeth, Good night Momma & Pappa ... Good night Mary and congratulations on your new book.
Mary McDonough's national tour includes appearances at DOLLYWOOD, The Grand Ole Opry, and the Kennedy Center.
Other colleagues and friends that spoke out about Mary and her book include ...
"A fascinating look at what it's like to grow up in front of and beyond the cameras." --Eve Plumb (jan brady/Brady Bunch)
"She reveals the terrifying challenges that forced her to become more "Erin Brockovich" than "Erin Walton!"--Alison Arngrim (Nellie Oleson/Little House on the Prairie)
"Mary is a whole lot more than Erin on The Waltons. This book shows how she's handled all the highs and lows with grace."--George Clooney
and "She's a radiant woman whose truth comes from within...if I had to pick one word that described Mary Beth, it would be resilience." --Earl Hamner, Creator of The Waltons
Photo Credit: © Chelsea Claus Photography
Mary McDonough, Ralph Waite and Michael Learned
Mary McDonough, Jon Walmsley, Michael Learned, Mary McDonough, Ralph Waite, Eric Scott and David Harper
David Harper, Jon Walmsley, Michael Learned, Ralph Waite, Mary McDonough, Judy Norton and Eric Scott
David Harper, Jon Walmsley, Kami Cotler, Michael Learned, Ralph Waite, Eric Scott, Mary McDonough and Judy Norton
David Harper, Judy Norton, Jon Walmsley, Mary McDonough, Eric Scott and Kami Cotler
David Harper, Eric Scott, Judy Norton, Mary McDonough, Kami Cotler and Jon Walmsley
Judy Norton, Mary McDonough and Kami Cotler
Kate Linder joins Mary McDonough