Hollywood Flashback: Michael Learned Won Her First 'Waltons' Emmy in '73

Michael Learned holds the record for most #Emmys wins for outstanding lead actress in a drama series

8/10/2020 11:31:00 PM

Michael Learned holds the record for most Emmys wins for outstanding lead actress in a drama series

The actress felt she was wrong for the part of Olivia, but she went to the audition anyway and 'got to test with Richard Thomas and Ralph Waite. It was like acting with two other [real] actors,' she tells The Hollywood Reporter.

Max Miller/Fotos International/Getty ImagesMichael Learned and Richard Thomas posed with their Emmys on May 20, 1973. Right, THR reported that The Waltons, the year’s “surprise hit,” took home six awards in a front-page story.The actress felt she was wrong for the part of Olivia, but she went to the audition anyway and"got to test with Richard Thomas and Ralph Waite. It was like acting with two other [real] actors," she tells The Hollywood Reporter.

Terry Francona’s Face Shield Splattered With Chew Spit A Louisiana officer who claimed someone shot him actually shot himself, police say Jeff Bezos is opening a tuition-free preschool for underserved children

Michael Learned — or "Miss Michael Learned," as she was credited onThe Waltons, lest anyone confuse her for a man — holds the record for most Emmy wins for outstanding lead actress in a drama series.Three of those came for her work onThe Waltons

; she played matriarch Olivia Walton on the CBS drama, which ran for nine seasons beginning in 1972. The show, which followed the lives of a wholesome family living through the Great Depression in rural Virginia, was created by and based on the life of TV writer Earl Hamner Jr. (who died in 2016 at age 92).

Hamner got his start writing forThe Twilight Zonebefore striking it big with shows likeThe WaltonsandFalcon Crest. Learned, then 32, had been living in San Francisco and going through a very difficult divorce from her first husband, actor Peter Donat, when she landed the part. She had put her three sons in the car and driven to L.A., "just to get to know the city in case an audition came up," Learned, now 81, tells

The Hollywood Reporter."I was staying at a cheap motel for 12 bucks a night. I was an emotional wreck."An audition did come up: Her agent convinced her to read for Olivia, a part Learned felt she was wrong for. But she went anyway and "got to test with Richard Thomas and Ralph Waite. It was like acting with two other [real] actors." All three were cast ­— Thomas as her son, John-Boy, and Waite as her husband, John Sr.

By its second season, which premiered Sept. 13, 1973,The Waltonswas the second-most-watched series on TV. Four months earlier, at an Emmys hosted by Johnny Carson, the show won outstanding drama, outstanding leading actor in a drama for Thomas and outstanding leading actress in a drama for Learned. In announcing her win, the presenter, James Franciscus (

Mr. Novak), mispronounced her name as "Michelle" — which she quickly corrected at the podium."I'm stunned," Learned said. "And the name is Michael."  Read more: Hollywood Reporter »

Trump's ABC town hall: President faces tough questions on coronavirus response, health care, racial injustice

President Donald Trump took questions from uncommitted voters in Philadelphia in a 90-minute town hall special hosted by ABC News.

Crazy name, beautiful woman. first

Not My Job: We Quiz Bryan Cranston Of 'Breaking Bad' On Braking ... GoodSince many of us know Bryan Cranston from Breaking Bad, waitwait invited him to play a game called 'Braking ... good!' — 3 questions about safe driving. waitwait waitwait Nur eine is richtig. William Brandt. Lider.. Respect zum this man. waitwait No matter how unhep and heinous, he will always be ‘Malcolm’s Dad’ to me

Emmys 2020: Breaking Down Odds to Win in 14 Major RacesThe Television Academy’s willingness to nominate a number of newcomers has shaken up the majority of the key races. Here, Variety breaks down the early odds in 14 categories at the 72nd Annual Prim… How many Latino’s do you think will win?

Survey: 73% Of Parents May Make Major Professional Changes If Schools Don't Fully ReopenThe uncertainty surrounding school reopenings has increased anxiety among working parents, with 52% of respondents saying they hide child care concerns because they worry that their employer or colleagues won't understand. A good read 8% of men have taken on extra childcare responsibilities. 57% of women have. Fathers are bad for mothers’ careers, not remote learning. 73% No Way

Ozzy Osbourne Upset Over Sharon Osbourne Letting Her Hair Go Grey?After Sharon Osbourne revealed that she'd stopped dyeing her hair, one Hollywood gossip said that the Prince of Darkness was secretly angered by the change.

How to answer money questions from kids, including 'What is money?'Children can start learning about money at a young age. To start, engage with their first questions on the subject, like 'What is money?' Grow_mag Best article of the day!!

This California school is open, 'learning as we go.' Is it a model or a mistake?Catholic schools in California are seeking waivers to open for in-person learning. In Nevada County, one has gone back to class. Open school in person Until there's a vaccine, it's a mistake. ...my prediction is that it will be a model.