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Earl Hamner Welcome

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Michael Learned

Michael Learned (Olivia Walton) was born in Washington, D.C. on April 9, 1939. Miss Michael Learned, as she was billed during the early part of her career, appeared in several guest roles in shows such as The Doris Day Show, Ironside, Gunsmoke, Police Story and The Streets of San Francisco. She also appeared on stage, with roles in many plays.
She joined the cast of The Waltons as Olivia when it was decided to make a series after the success of The Homecoming. Patricia Neal had played Olivia in the initial movie. Learned stayed with the series until her contract expired late in 1978 and won several Emmy awards for her role during this time. The explanation for her character being written out of the series was that Olivia had contracted tuberculosis and needed to be sent away to Arizona to recuperate. She did agree, however, make a number of appearances, and so the character of Olivia remained in a minor capacity. We do see her in briefly in some of the 1982 movie specials, and she makes a return in the later movies of the 1990's.

After her regular role in The Waltons, she was a very busy actress, making television mini series, movies and appearing in other television series. She appeared in Little Mo, A Christmas Without Snow, All My Sons, Mercy or Murder?, Keeping Secrets and Dragon: The Bruce Lee Story. Other television series in which she appeared were Nurse, Living Dolls, and Hothouse. Her role as Mary in Nurse won her a fourth Emmy award.

Michael continues to act on both stage and screen and perhaps most recently has been seen as a rather nasty character in Profiler.