He Brought Us TV Classics, Shared His Life With Millions

earl hamner

A man who brought his childhood to the masses in the 1970’s and into the present day has passed away leaving friends and family to rejoice in his beautiful stories.

His inspirational tales of the depression, and his jaunt into night time soap operas are legendary. His ability to weave a story together in a beautiful tapestry of words is unmatched.

According to reports, Earl Hamner Jr., the Virginia-born writer who created not only TV’s folksy, Depression-era family drama “The Waltons” but the California wine country prime-time soap opera “Falcon Crest,” died Thursday. He was 92.

Hamner passed away at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center in Los Angeles after battling bladder cancer, said his daughter, Caroline.

His 1970 book “The Homecoming: A Novel About Spencer’s Mountain,” inspired by Christmas Eve 1933 when Hamner’s father was late in arriving home, was turned into “The Homecoming: A Christmas Story,” a two-hour CBS television movie that introduced the family, renamed the Waltons, to television viewers in December 1971.

Its success led to the weekly hourlong TV series.

“The Waltons,” with Richard Thomas as John-Boy, the budding young writer modeled after Hamner and the eldest of the close-knit clan’s seven children, debuted on CBS in fall 1972.


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