‘The Waltons’: ‘Erin’ Actor Mary McDonough Said This ‘Three’s Company’ Star’s Advice ‘Saved My Life’

The classic family drama The Waltons it ran for nine seasons from 1972 to 1981. Based on the book Mount Spencer by Earl Hamner Jr., the series was set in rural Virginia during the years of the Great Depression during World War II.

Actress Mary McDonough showed her middle sister Erin Walton for the full run of the show. As this progressive actress came to appear repeatedly on the show, it gave McDonough great wisdom regarding a personal issue she was having.

Mary McDonough and Kami Cotler of 'The Waltons'
Mary McDonough and Kami Cotler of ‘The Waltons’ CBS Photo Archive

John Ritter painted a minister for ‘The Waltons’

Before you go to a household name on it Company of three, John Ritter played the young Rev. Matthew Fordwick as a recurring character. Hamner remembered throwing Ritter in one of his debating posts.

“I’m proud that that was one of John’s first roles in Hollywood,” Hamner said of Ritter in an interview with the American Television Archive. “He played a young minister who was so holy and kind and just such a strong man that the whole community was embarrassed when he accidentally drank some of the recipe made by the two old bootleggers, and did not unable to deliver the first sermon because he was drunk. John took that job and ran with it. ”

Ritter apparently showed off his humorous talent while on the run The Waltons, where he often joked around co-star Richard Thomas (John-Boy).

“Not only was he an amazing actor on the show, but sometimes in a movie studio, the set seems to get full weather,” Hamner said. “He and Richard would crack everyone.” ”

The teenager ‘The Waltons’ starred in the show

McDonough was cast as Erin when she was 11 years old. She felt stressed as the seasons progressed to maintain a distinctive look. The pressure began to manifest itself physically The Waltons star.

“Erin, my character, should have been the beautiful one,” McDonough said in 2015 onwards Oprah: Where are they now? “So the message came to me with this emphasis on being perfect, looking perfect, being perfect. Sin That really affected me. When I was 15 I had an upset, my hair started to fall out, those scratches were on my head, and I remember my parents took me to the doctor. And the doctor said, ‘Well, is she under any pressure?’ And my parents said, ‘No, she’ s the luckiest girl in the world – Are you calling me? ‘”

Hitting a teenager, McDonough went through the normal bodily changes that come with childhood. But her physical movements didn’t seem to accept it in a positive light by those in position.

“The wardrobe lady looked at me and said, ‘Well, do you think you could add clothes from last season, or have you gained more weight? ? ‘” The Waltons alum recalled. “And it struck me just like the knife in my heart. And I was not fat; I was just coming to maturity. And no one said, ‘Hey, you’re normal. You’re alright. ‘”

Words of wisdom John Ritter

McDonough began using unhealthy habits to keep her weight down and appear thin on camera.

“When they were writing times when I wore a swimsuit, I would go hungry and lose weight for that show,” she said. “Then after doing that program I would go over to the truck and eat donuts.”

Ritter noted McDonough’s uncertainty and advised her to do some important internal audits. Taking the time to truly listen to McDonough and give her practical tools, he was able to lead Ritter on a healthier path. The Waltons a star began to impart that wisdom to others throughout her life.

“He said, ‘No, no, I want you to start making a magazine,'” McDonough said. “And that night I started doing journalism and it saved my life. … It was an awful process for me to go through as a job I do today. ”

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