Mary Jackson

Emily Baldwin in 'The Waltons'

Mary Jackson, actress: born Milford, Michigan 22 November 1910; married 1937 Griffin Bancroft Jnr (marriage dissolved); died Los Angeles 10 December 2005.

Misses Emily and Mamie Baldwin were the two genteel sisters in the sentimental television saga The Waltons who concocted a bootleg whiskey they called "the Recipe", which they offered to neighbours and passers-by - leaning over to watch for a reaction. They were based on two real women recalled by the father and uncles of Earl Hamner Jnr, whose wholesome children's series about hillfolk in the Blue Ridge Mountains of Virginia during the Depression - following an earlier novel, Spencer's Mountain (1961) - was a fictionalised account of his childhood.

The lovelorn younger sister, Miss Emily, was played by Mary Jackson, who was already in her sixties when she landed the role in The Waltons (1972-81). Helen Kleeb, who died in December 2003, acted Mamie. The eccentric Baldwins, who lived in a mansion left to them by their father, were two of the satellite characters built around the sawmill-owning Walton family, headed by the strong but quiet father, John (Ralph Waite), and hard-working earth-mother, Olivia (Michael Learned), with events seen through the eyes of their eldest son, John Boy (Richard Thomas, later Robert Wightman), an aspiring novelist. Miss Emily carried with her the memory of her long-lost suitor, Ashley Longworth, from whom she had received her first kiss, on her 19th birthday. Later, his son, Ashley junior, arrived on Walton's Mountain, but she never met his father again.

Jackson was once surprised at the effect of television and, especially, The Waltons, which was screened worldwide, when she was asked by a member of the public on a New York bus: "Did Ashley ever come back?" She recalled of Earl Hamner Jnr's popular creation:

Earl gave me two things that I will always cherish and be thankful for: Helen Kleeb as my older sister and the TV series The Waltons - and he gave me Ashley Longworth. I think you ought

to know that Ashley has never come back. In case you see him out there, please tell him to return. I have some of the Recipe waiting.

Born in Milford, Michigan, in 1910, Jackson worked as a schoolteacher for a year before studying acting at Western Michigan University, then moving to Chicago, where she began her stage career. After a film début in Friendly Persuasion (1956, the story of a Quaker family in 19th-century Indiana), Jackson's big-screen roles included a nun in Airport (1970) and Jane Fonda's mother in Fun with Dick and Jane (1977). She took character roles in dozens of American television series, including Alfred Hitchcock Presents (1956), My Three Sons (1961), Barnaby Jones (three roles, 1973-77), Hill Street Blues (1987) and L.A. Law (1989).

Although Dorothy Stickney and Josephine Hutchinson played Misses Emily and Mamie Baldwin in the Waltons pilot television film, The Homecoming: A Christmas Story (1971), Jackson and Kleeb took over the roles for the series and reprised them in the sequels A Wedding on Walton's Mountain (1982), A Day for Thanks on Walton's Mountain (1982), A Walton Thanksgiving Reunion (1993), A Walton Wedding (1995) and A Walton Easter (1997).

Anthony Hayward


Actress sees off speculation about her appearance in an amazing way

Arts and Entertainment
Serge Pizzorno of Kasabian and Noel Fielding backstage at the Teenage Cancer Trust concerts
musicKasabian and Noel Fielding attack 'boring' musicians
videoWatch Lynda Bellingham's tragic final Loose Women appearance
A view of today's Spanish papers
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
ebooksAn unforgettable anthology of contemporary reportage
Arts and Entertainment
The last great picture - Winner 'Black and White' and overall 'Wildlife Photographer of the Year'

sportAtlanta Falcons can't count and don't know what the UK looks like
Arts and Entertainment
High notes, flat performance: Jake Bugg

Review: Despite an uphill climb to see Jake Bugg in action, his performance is notably flat

The Putin automaton will go on sale next month in Germany
videoMusical Putin toy showing him annexing Crimea could sell for millions

Powerful images of strays taken moments before being put down

Arts and Entertainment
S Club 7 pose for Children in Need 2001
Arts and Entertainment
'Right Here' singer Jess Glynne is nominated for Best Newcomer at the MOBO Awards 2014
musicExclusive: Jess Glynne hits out at 'ridiculous' criticism of white artists nominated for Mobo Awards
'Irritatingly Disneyfied': fashion vlogger Zoella

Arts and Entertainment
Russell Brand has written a book of political analysis called Revolution

Review: Witty banalities aside, the comedian has an authentic voice

Arts and Entertainment
Separated at birth? Frank Sivero (left) claims The Simpsons based Mafia character Louie on his Goodfellas character
arts + entsFrank Sivero sues Simpsons studio over allegedly basing mobster character on Frank Carbone
Carl Bernstein (left) and Bob Woodward (right) with former 'Washington Post' executive editor Ben Bradlee

The Washington Post editor helped Bob Woodward and Carl Bernstein bring down President Nixon

Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

IT Support Analyst - London - £22,000

£20000 - £22000 per annum + Benefits: Ashdown Group: IT Support Analyst - Chel...

Learning Support Assistants-Nantwich area

£8 - £9 per hour: Randstad Education Chester: We are currently recruiting for ...

Primary Teachers-Northwich area

£85 - £110 per day: Randstad Education Chester: Primary Teachers- Northwich Ar...

Primary Teachers-Northwich area

£85 - £110 per day: Randstad Education Chester: Primary Teachers- Northwich Ar...

Day In a Page

Indiana serial killer? Man arrested for murdering teenage prostitute confesses to six other murders - and police fear there could be many more

A new American serial killer?

Police fear man arrested for murder of teen prostitute could be responsible for killing spree dating back 20 years
Sweetie, the fake 10-year-old girl designed to catch online predators, claims her first scalp

Sting to trap paedophiles may not carry weight in UK courts

Computer image of ‘Sweetie’ represented entrapment, experts say
Fukushima nuclear crisis: Evacuees still stuck in cramped emergency housing three years on - and may never return home

Return to Fukushima – a land they will never call home again

Evacuees still stuck in cramped emergency housing three years on from nuclear disaster
Wildlife Photographer of the Year: Intimate image of resting lions claims top prize

Wildlife Photographer of the Year

Intimate image of resting lions claims top prize
Online petitions: Sign here to change the world

Want to change the world? Just sign here

The proliferation of online petitions allows us to register our protests at the touch of a button. But do they change anything?
Ed Sheeran hits back after being labelled too boring to headline festivals

'You need me, I don’t need you'

Ed Sheeran hits back after being labelled too boring to headline festivals
How to Get Away with Murder: Shonda Rhimes reinvents the legal drama

How to Get Away with Murder

Shonda Rhimes reinvents the legal drama
A cup of tea is every worker's right

Hard to swallow

Three hospitals in Leicester have banned their staff from drinking tea and coffee in public areas. Christopher Hirst explains why he thinks that a cuppa is every worker's right
Which animals are nearly extinct?

Which animals are nearly extinct?

Conservationists in Kenya are in mourning after the death of a white northern rhino, which has left the species with a single male. These are the other species on the brink
12 best children's shoes

Perfect for leaf-kicking: 12 best children's shoes

Find footwear perfect to keep kids' feet protected this autumn
Anderlecht vs Arsenal: Gunners' ray of light Aaron Ramsey shines again

Arsenal’s ray of light ready to shine again

Aaron Ramsey’s injury record has prompted a club investigation. For now, the midfielder is just happy to be fit to face Anderlecht in the Champions League
Comment: David Moyes' show of sensitivity thrown back in his face by former Manchester United manager Sir Alex Ferguson

Moyes’ show of sensitivity thrown back in his face... by Ferguson

Manchester United legend tramples on successor who resisted criticising his inheritance
Two super-sized ships have cruised into British waters, but how big can these behemoths get?

Super-sized ships: How big can they get?

Two of the largest vessels in the world cruised into UK waters last week
British doctors on brink of 'cure' for paralysis with spinal cord treatment

British doctors on brink of cure for paralysis

Sufferers can now be offered the possibility of cure thanks to a revolutionary implant of regenerative cells
Ranked seventh in world’s best tourist cities - not London, or Edinburgh, but Salisbury

Lonely Planet’s Best in Travel 2015

UK city beats Vienna, Paris and New York to be ranked seventh in world’s best tourist destinations - but it's not London