Michael Learned explained why she joined the cast of another television series after leaving ”The Waltons”

“I really wanted to grow and explore.”

Television has long been considered an inferior medium to film. Even though more serious and cinematic shows have been developed in recent years, it’s a reputation that television can’t seem to shake, to the point where it affects those actors working in television.

Television’s reputation is especially strange when you understand how difficult the shooting schedule of many television series can be. By creating episodes that are consistently airing, extra effort is required from everyone involved, from the crew to the actors. It’s enough to exhaust anyone.

Michael Learned didn’t stay on the cast of The Waltons for the duration of the series; she elected to leave during a later season but frequently returned in a guest capacity. However, that decision wasn’t made out of a dislike for The Waltons itself. Learned left because of the grueling nature of the television shooting schedule. According to an Associated Press interview, she decided after she finished The Waltons that she was done with working in television. However, just two years after her departure, she joined the cast of a new series, entitled, Nurse.

Learned was frank about her reasoning for her change of mind. She said, “One [reason] is greed, which I’m ashamed of, but it’s true.”

She continued, “The other was the attraction of a vehicle that would give me dramatic stuff.”

Learned also said that another draw to the new project was the character she’d be playing. The actor said, “I wanted to do something about a woman from many angles. And that appealed to me more than greed, really.”

She maintained, “I really didn’t want to do another series. I’ve nothing against television, but a series is a grind. I really wanted to grow and explore.”

Learned already had a great deal of experience playing a layered woman due to her time spent as Olivia Walton. She said, “Olivia Walton has nothing to apologize for. She had her integrity intact and didn’t question who or what she was. It was very clear to her.”

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