Emily Baldwin in 'The Waltons'
Saturday 17 December 2005
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).
- 1 Florida man sentenced to two-and-a-half years for having sex on the beach in front of a child
- 2 Autistic teenager beaten up by bullies makes them watch 20-minute video about autism
- 3 Nick Kyrgios calls former Olympian Dawn Fraser a 'blatant racist' after she tells Wimbledon star to 'go back where their parents came from'
- 4 World learns of app that shows you who unfriended you on Facebook, app promptly crashes
- 5 Chris Moyles reportedly set to make radio comeback with new breakfast show on XFM
Florida man sentenced to two-and-a-half years for having sex on the beach in front of a child
Autistic teenager beaten up by bullies makes them watch 20-minute video about autism
Man who was struck and killed by lightning in Brecon Beacons 'was carrying a selfie stick'
Greece debt crisis as it happened: EU chiefs at loggerheads hours before Alexis Tsipras’s last ditch deal proposals
Bakery sends 'horrific' version of Frozen-themed birthday cake to unsuspecting customer
More Britons believe that multiculturalism makes the country worse - not better, says poll
Osborne to cap family benefits at £23,000 – announced ahead of his post-election Budget
Nathan Collier: Montana man inspired by same-sex marriage ruling requests right to wed two wives
Forget little green men – aliens will look like humans, says Cambridge University evolution expert
Girl, 7, stares down hate preacher at Ohio festival with pro-LGBT rainbow flag gesture
Sickness and disability benefits could be reduced by £30 a week as part of £12bn welfare cuts
£23000 - £27000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: A Business Analyst is required ...
£16000 - £23000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: To succeed, you will need to ha...
£8 per hour: Recruitment Genius: This is an opportunity to join an award winni...
£7 - £9 per hour: Recruitment Genius: Are you outgoing? Do you want to work in...