Today is Monday, August 21, 2017

Catching up with children of The Waltons

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Dear Ken: Can you tell me what’s happening in the lives of the actors who played the children on TV’s “The Waltons”? What about Ike Godsey, the Baldwin sisters and their neighbor Verdie?

Richard Thomas, 58, who played John-Boy, has been touring the country in plays such as “Twelve Angry Men,” appeared in an episode of  “Law & Order” last year, as well as the film “Taking Woodstock” and has been the voice in Mercedes-Benz commercials. He has five children.

Judy Norton-Taylor (Mary-Ellen), 51, last worked on TV in a 2000 episode of “Ed.” She has since appeared in dinner theater in the U.S. and Canada.

Mary Beth McDonough (Erin), 48, had a recurring role as Mrs. Wilhoite on “The New Adventures of Old Christine”) between 2006 and 2009. Suffering from lupus, she has also been working on her autobiography.

Jon Walmsley (Jason), 53, has been a musician for years. He was a guest on “7th Heaven” in 2005 and was a voice in the animated “Elf Sparkle Meets Christmas the Horse” last year. Eric Scott (Ben), 51, appeared in the 2001 film “Never Again” and last I read operated a messenger company in Hollywood.

David W. Harper (Jim Bob), 48, last worked in “A Walton Easter” in 1997, and I believe is an artist in Los Angeles.

Kami Cotler (Elizabeth), 44, who also last worked in “A Walton Easter,” has been a school teacher and works with a charter school in California.

Mary Jackson and Helen Kleeb, who played the Baldwin sisters, are deceased.Joe Conley (Ike Godsey), 81, has not worked in film or TV since 2001. 

Lynn Hamilton (Verdie Grant Foster), 79, appeared in an episode of “Cold Case” last year and was a cast member of “Port Charles” and “The Practice.” She also played Fred Sanford’s girlfriend in a number of episodes of “Sanford and Son.”

You would probably enjoy a trip to The Waltons Mountain Museum in Schuyler, Va. Check out

Dear Ken: What can you tell me about Kristen Stewart who plays Bella Swan in the “Twilight” movies?

Stewart, 19, was born in Los Angeles and grew up in California, Colorado and Pennsylvania. She has three brothers and three dogs and a cat. Her Australian-born mother Jules Mann-Stewart is a script supervisor and plans to produce her daughter in a film, “K-11,” this year. 

Dear Ken: Who played Glinda, the Good Witch of the North in “The Wizard of Oz”?

That was Mary William Ethelbert Appleton Burke, better known as Billie Burke. She made about 80 films from 1916 to 1960 and died in 1970 at age 85. Burke was the daughter of an internationally famous circus clown and her husband was promoter Florenz Ziegfeld Jr. of Ziegfeld Follies fame.

If you have a trivia question about actors, singers, movies, TV shows or pop culture, e-mail your query to Ken Beck via where you can also find classic films and TV shows on DVD or visit Sherlock’s Book Emporium in Lebanon, Tennessee.

Ask Ken Beck

Journalist Ken Beck, a longtime resident of Wilson  County, has recently become a contributing writer for Main Street Media and its local newspaper, "The Wilson Post."

Earlier this year Beck concluded a 31-year career with "The Tennessean" where he edited the Nashville paper’s “Sunday Showcase” entertainment magazine for 25 years. Besides interviewing stars of film and television, Beck wrote Tennessee travel and feature stories and a popular Q&A entertainment column.

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