Richard Thomas Knew He Would Leave ‘The Waltons’ Since He Started

source: Do You Remember?

The future is not predetermined, yet some choices are made well in advance of their discussion. Known for his role as John-Boy Walton in CBS’s “The Waltons,” Richard Thomas made the unexpected decision to depart the show before its eighth season. This move might have surprised his audience, but not Thomas, who had anticipated his exit from the beginning.

Source: Do You Remember?

“The Waltons,” inspired by Earl Hamner Jr.’s “Spencer’s Mountain” and its cinematic adaptation, enjoyed nine seasons and a series of television movies. Thomas, who became synonymous with John-Boy and the show, intentionally did not participate in the entirety of the series. This was a deliberate choice from the outset. Richard Thomas had always planned to leave “The Waltons” early on. The show, centered around the Walton family, depended on the varied ages of its main characters, indicating an inevitable change. Thomas set his departure timeline shorter than expected, aligning with his personal plans. “I had decided at the time of signing my contract that I would stay with the series for no more than five years,” Thomas revealed. He clarified this decision in an interview with The Montreal Star, stating, “Five years is sufficient time to dedicate to a single project, and I wished to explore new opportunities.”

Source: Do You Remember?

Thomas was always at peace with his decision and harbored no ill feelings towards “The Waltons.” He praised the show for its positive moral lessons and suggested that its success demonstrated the public’s ability to relate to its genuine characters over the exaggerated heroes of other series. Thomas expressed gratitude for the consistent on-screen practice “The Waltons” offered, which honed his acting skills. However, his passion for theater eventually drew him away from television and film, leading to a successful career on stage. As a creative individual himself, Thomas’s character, John-Boy, would undoubtedly be proud of his artistic journey.