The actor played Olivia, the matriarch of the family, who at the time was affectionately considered "America’s mother. Michael Learned has never stopped acting.
‘The Waltons’ Star Michael Learned Discussed Origins of Her Unusual Name
Shortly thereafter, she pivoted to starring in a slew of made-for-TV movies, including several Waltons specials. InMichael Learned headlined opposite Brady Bunch star Robert Reed in a TV movie called Nurse, which was then adapted into a two-season series starring the pair. The Michael Learned would go on to earn her fourth Primetime Emmy Award for Outstanding Lead Actress as a result of her work on the show. Learned says that whether it’s film, TV, or theater, her work is still her passion—even in her 80s.
When I’m at home all I do is housework and grocery shopping—it’s so boring! So when I go away to work, I feel alive again ," she said in a interview Michael Learned Fox News. She says playing Olivia on The Waltons saved her life.
By the sounds of Michael Learned, the audition itself could have easily gone another way. Luckily, joining the show proved to be exactly what she needed to lift herself from that state. She told Fox News that without being cast, she might not have overcome her addiction to alcohol.
‘The Waltons’ Star Michael Learned Discussed Origins of Her Name
I knew I couldn’t do a television show and take care of my kids, and do Michael Learned of that and have cocktails at night," the actor admitted. Learned said that by joining the show, each area of her life improved. It was a gift—I have two families now. I have my kids, and I have the Walton kids," she added.
Michael Learned Was Olivia on "The Waltons." See Her Now. — Best Life
Learned says the cast of the show was extremely close. When asked what it is about The Waltons that continues to captivate viewers, the actor responded, "Family.
And you know, it’s touted now as if everyone was huggy, kissy and perfect, but it wasn’t like that. We had a lot of imperfections as a family, and I think that’s what people relate to. That was the message Michael Learned The Waltons. We adored each other," she mused, adding, "We were like a married couple, but without all the baggage that you get when you’re in a marriage.
She has a message to share with other older Americans. She said Michael Learned beyond the film’s important message on race, it also spotlights a necessary moral about aging. There are people who can fall in love at an older age," Learned told Fox. So I think it’s terrific that this film is dealing with two older people who are falling in love again.
It can still happen at our age.
Michael Learned Cam Show
Now 82, the actor has shown few signs that she’ll slow down anytime soon.