The Waltons Creator Was Proud To Give John Ritter His First Big Hollywood Role
The Waltons is a classic American family drama that ran on CBS from 1971 to 1981. The show was known for its wholesome portrayal of a rural Virginia family during the Great Depression and World War II eras. However, the show also played a significant role in launching the career of one of Hollywood’s most beloved actors, John Ritter.
In season five, episode 12 of The Waltons, titled “The Collision,” Ritter played the character of Reverend Matthew Fordwick, a new minister who finds himself in a moral dilemma. This was Ritter’s first big Hollywood role, and it would help launch his career as one of the most iconic actors of his generation.
Earl Hamner Jr., the creator of The Waltons, was proud to give Ritter his big break in Hollywood. In an interview with the Archive of American Television, Hamner spoke about his decision to cast Ritter in the role of Reverend Fordwick. He recalled that Ritter brought a unique quality to the character that made him stand out from the other actors who auditioned for the role.
Hamner noted that Ritter had a natural comedic timing and a likability that made him perfect for the role. Ritter’s performance in “The Collision” was praised by critics and audiences alike, and it helped launch his career in Hollywood.
John Ritter and John-Boy were best friends backstage.
John Ritter and Richard Thomas, who played the character of John-Boy on the hit television show The Waltons, were not only close friends on screen, but they were also best friends backstage. The two actors developed a close bond during their time working together on the show, which aired from 1971 to 1981.
Their friendship was evident in their on-screen chemistry as well. The characters of John-Boy and Reverend Fordwick, played by Ritter, shared a special bond that was reflected in the way they interacted with each other. The two actors had a natural rapport that made their scenes together a joy to watch.
Ritter went on to have a successful career in both film and television, becoming a household name through his iconic roles in Three’s Company and other popular sitcoms. However, his work on The Waltons was an important milestone in his career, and it is a testament to the show’s enduring legacy.