The Waltons: Season 1, Episode 15

The Actress (4 Jan. 1973)

TV Episode  -   -  Drama | Family | Romance
6.9
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Alvira Drummond, a glamorous actress of the stage and screen, is stranded on Walton's Mountain by her chauffeur whom she claims has stolen all of her money and her belongings.

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Title: The Actress (04 Jan 1973)

The Actress (04 Jan 1973) on IMDb 6.9/10

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Cast

Episode credited cast:
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Olivia Walton (as Miss Michael Learned)
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Erin Walton (as Mary Elizabeth McDonough)
Eric Scott ...
David W. Harper ...
Jim-Bob Walton (as David Harper)
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Earl Hamner Jr. ...
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John Crawford ...
Mary Jackson ...
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Storyline

When a famous actress's car breaks down on Walton's Mountain, starstruck John-Boy convinces his parents to invite her to dinner while Ike is fixing her car. All the children are enthralled with her flashy personality and world-traveling tales, although Olivia and Grandma disapprove of her. Finding her car will need major repairs, and wanting to stay put, Alvira manages to fall and injure her ankle, turning her night on the couch into a lengthy stay. Despite her worldliness, the whole Walton family falls under her spell at the end when she opens them up to John -Boy's view of his home through his writings, heretofore unseen by his family members. Written by Ron Kerrigan <mvg@whidbey.com>

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Drama | Family | Romance

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4 January 1973 (USA)  »

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Trivia

Actress Alvira Drummond tells the Waltons that she was asked to open a new theater in Atlanta by recreating Gertie Lawrence's role in the Noel Coward play "Private Lives", referring to real-life stage and screen star Gertrude Lawrence who performed as character Amanda Prynne when the play premiered on Broadway in 1931. See more »

Quotes

Narrator: [narration as John 'John Boy' Walton, Jr. reading from his journal] When I was growing up on Waltons Mountain, I used to dream of all the faraway places I would one day visit. New York City captured my imagination most completely because it was a mecca for young, aspiring artists and writers. I wasn't to stray that far from home for several years but I was due for a special preview. One day, without any warning, a New York hurricane hit our peaceful community.
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Different worlds collide with both sides learning something
11 February 2014 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

The Actress is like many of the first-season episodes where we learn more about the Walton family by seeing how they react when an outsider comes to visit. In this case, we begin with John-Boy driving the truck with a man, approaching a fancy Cadillac that has broken down, and, on seeing a woman outside wearing fancy clothes, is told by the man beside him, "That…is my employer."

John-Boy recognizes the lady when they stop as a famous actress he has seen in the movies. He gushes over her and she is impressed when he tells about her sending Mary Ellen an autographed picture some time ago. The actress is most distressed to learn that her car cannot be quickly repaired and that there is no restaurant nearby. She accepts John-Boy's offer of dinner with his family and they go off, leaving the chauffeur to fend for himself. (That part seemed odd to me.)

The actress clearly is not used to the Waltons' lifestyle, but she is polite to them all and appreciative of their hospitality. As she started to tell a story at dinner, John-Boy is summoned away by Grandma, insisting that he go to Ike's to check on the repairs to her car right then. We can tell that Grandma just doesn't want him to be corrupted/tempted by her stories and it was a rather funny scene.

We later hear that the actress will be forced to stay longer than expected because a replacement part for her car has to be sent from Chicago. (It should have been Detroit, since she was driving a Cadillac, but they can't get every fact right in writing these stories.) Then we hear that her driver has absconded with all of her money and jewelry and he cannot be located.

Along the way, the Waltons learn how some people live lives vastly different from them, and our actress learns that she needs to make some changes to her life as well. There is also conflict between Mary Ellen and her parents over the way they are treating their guest. It would be easy to say Mary Ellen wasn't very likable here, but it is also easy to say she behaved like a lot of 13-year-olds would have, including a dramatic pledge that nobody expects her to intend to keep.

When we first met the actress she seemed petulant and grouchy and most disagreeable. She couldn't have continued that way and been allowed to stay at the Walton home. I thought she came across as someone used to having people do whatever she wants, but who wasn't a bad person overall.

This may not have been nearly the most memorable episode, but it was a rather interesting show that taught us a bit about what to do when we encounter people different from ourselves.


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