Richard Thomas, Ralph Waite, Michael Learned, Will Geer and Ellen Corby were all part of the original cast of "The Waltons," which aired on CBS from 1971 to 1981. Other members of "The Waltons" cast included Jon Walmsley, Mary Elizabeth McDonough, Eric Scott, David W. Harper and Kami Cotler.
Thomas starred in the role of John "John-Boy" Walton, Jr., the oldest of seven children. Waite and Learned were the parents, and Geer and Corby played the grandparents. Walmsley, McDonough, Scott, Harper and Cotler played the roles of John-Boy's brothers and sisters. Judy Norton also played one of the siblings.
"The Waltons" revolved around a family living in rural Virginia during the Great Depression and World War II. "Spencer's Mountain," a book by Earl Hamner, Jr., served as the inspiration for the show. Hamner also narrated the program in the role of an older John-Boy recalling the past.
"The Waltons" was a successful show for CBS. In the Nielsen ratings, the show remained in the top 30 for its first six seasons and reached as high as number two during its second year. In 1973, the show won the Primetime Emmy for Outstanding Drama Series. Three reunion shows aired in the 1990s, with storylines focusing on the Walton family during the 1960s.