|Sissy Spacek appeared in two episodes of The Waltons very early in the series. Towards the end of season one she played the role of Sarah Simmons, in "The Townie", the young school friend of John Boy who wants to marry John Boy in order to move away from her domineering mother. She reprised this role early in season two in the episode "The Odyssey". She was given one of my all time favorite Waltons lines to say in "The Townie": "When are you going to stop being John Boy and start being John Man?"
Born Mary Elizabeth Spacek on December 25th, either in 1949 or 1950, in Quitman, Texas, she became a very popular actress during the 1970's and 1980's. She began with hopes to become a singer, and did sing at coffee houses around New York, recorded the vocals for some television commercials, and even recorded a song called "Johhny, You Went Too Far This Time" under the name Rainbo. Acting won out though and she finally enrolled at the Lee Strasberg Theatrical Institute.
Spacek's film debut was in Prime Cut in 1972. It was during 1973 that she appeared on The Waltons and she also made other television appearances during that year in Love, American Style, The Rookies and also the telemovie The Girls of Huntington House.
During the next two years she performed in several movies which won her critical acclaim including Badlands as the teenaged accomplice to a ruthless killer and in Katherine where she played a teenager who became a violent radical. Her 1976 title role in Carrie earned her an Oscar nomination for best actress. Several films followed before she won an Oscar for her portrayal of Loretta Lynn in Coal Miner's Daughter in 1980.
She continued to make movies during the 1980's, and was again nominated for an Oscar for Missing (1982), The River (1984) and Crimes of the Heart (1986).
Spacek is married to director Jack Fisk, and withdrew from making movies late in the 1980's to concentrate on raising a family. She has two children, Schuyler (who appeared in The Babysitters Club movie) and Madison. She has since returned to the screen to appear in special features such as JFK (1991), The Grass Harp (1996) and The Affection (1997).
In addition to her Oscar nominations and award, she has also won awards, or been nominated for awards, for the following movies: Carrie, 3 Women, Coal Miner's Daughter, Missing, The River, and Crimes of the Heart.
Bette Davis apparently once said, very early in Spacek's career, that "She seems as though she can do just about anything and she doesn't care how she looks when she's doing it." No doubt Bette was right, and others agreed as she was list as one of twelve Promising New Actors of 1976.