Bits and Pieces
was the first movie written by Earl Hamner Junior, and this was
the forerunner of The Homecoming and subsequently The
Waltons series. Two actors in Spencers Mountain who
you might recognise were Victor French who played one of the Spencer
brothers, and Kym Karath who played Pattie-Cake Spencer. Victor
French went on to grow a beard and play Mr Edwards in Little
House on the Prairie, and Mark Gordon in Highway to Heaven
during the 1970's and 80's. Kym Karath perhaps remains best known
for her role as little Gretl in The Sound of Music.
Earl Hamner Jr based the series on his childhood memories
and the Walton children are based on his own brothers and sisters.
They are as follows:
- Earl Hamner Jr was the model for John Boy.
- Nancy Hamner Jamerson was the model for Elizabeth.
- James Hamner was the model for Jim Bob.
- Marion Hamner Hawkes was the model for Mary Ellen.
- Audrey Hamner Hankins was the model for Erin.
- Bill and Paul Hamner were the models for Ben.
- Cliff Hamner was the model for Jason.
Other family shows produced by Lorimar during the 1970's were
Apple's Way and Eight is Enough. In fact there is
one episode in Eight is Enough where one of the Bradford
family (I think it might be Tom) is watching television, and playing
is the theme music from The Waltons. Didn't he have good
There were three major producers during the run of the show,
and these were Robert L. Jacks, Andy White and Rod Peterson.
The major directors for the show were Ralph Senensky, Lawrence
Dobkin, Harry Harris, Philip Leacock, Bernard McEveety, Alf Kjellin,
Ivan Dixon, Robert Butler, Harvey S. Laidman, Lee Phillips, Jack
Shea, Gabrielle Beaumont and Stan Lathan.
The major writers for the show were Earl Hamner Jr., John
McGreevey, John Furia Jr., Claire Whittaker, Nancy Greenwald,
Nigel McKeand, Carol Evan McKeand, Colby Chester, William Bast,
Robert Malcom Young, Calvin Clements Jr., Joanna Lee and Robert