Interviews

 

Earl Hamner, Jr.

Show Creator / Writer

Earl Hamner on the inspiration for The Waltons

07:46

Thomas Wolfe was my idol, and I modeled myself after Wolfe. And he too grew up in this small town. He was in North Carolina, I in Virginia, but we still had that same southerness of love of the land, love of the people, victim of history, worship of education and writing.

About this interview

In his four-hour Archive interview, Earl Hamner, Jr. (1923-2016) talks briefly about his earliest writing credits, for shows such as Today, Wide, Wide World and The United States Steel Hour. Next, he speaks about his experiences writing for the anthology series The Twilight Zone, and discusses each of the episodes he wrote. He recalls the controversy surrounding the television movie Heidi, which he wrote, when it interrupted an important football broadcast. Hamner details his experiences as the creator of the drama series The Waltons and speaks about the creation of the program, the cast, and the show's parallels with his own childhood. He also talks about several of his later series, including Apple's Way, The Young Pioneers, Falcon Crest, Brewster Place and Snowy River: The McGregor Saga. He also describes writing the script for the 1973 film adaptation of E.B. White's beloved Charlotte's Web. Jennifer Howard conducted the interview on September 18, 2003 in Studio City, CA.

Thomas Wolfe was my idol, and I modeled myself after Wolfe. And he too grew up in this small town. He was in North Carolina, I in Virginia, but we still had that same southerness of love of the land, love of the people, victim of history, worship of education and writing.

Interview Highlights

Embedded thumbnail for Earl Hamner on the inspiration for The Waltons

Earl Hamner on the inspiration for The Waltons

07:46
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Earl Hamner on working with Rod Serling and writing teleplays for The Twilight Zone

12:22
Embedded thumbnail for Earl Hamner on how Ellen Corby's stroke was handled on The Waltons

Earl Hamner on how Ellen Corby's stroke was handled on The Waltons

01:45
Embedded thumbnail for Pop Culture ^^ Characters & Catchphrases

Earl Hamner on how the "Goodnight John Boy" trademark came into being

00:38
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Earl Hamner on the idea that sparked the creation of Falcon Crest

01:25