‘The Waltons’ Star Mary McDonough Began ‘Starving’ Herself During Show’s Run After Being Told She Was Fat

Mary McDonough joined “The Waltons” when she was just 11 years old and it wasn’t smooth sailing.

McDonough, now 55, reflected on her role as Erin for much of the 1970s during a recent interview with ITV’s “Loose Women”.

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“Erin was supposed to be the pretty one, so there was a lot of pressure for me to look a certain way and weigh a certain amount,” she explained.

“I created a body image issue for myself — a lot of radical diets and starving and trying to fit in and be perfect, until I realized there is no perfection in that way.”

McDonough was joined on the program by her onscreen mother, Michael Learned.

McDonough said television shows today are often “missing a sense of family and community and coming together as an extended family.” Adding how, “I think that it’s something that has been missing in the world, and especially lately.”

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“Everybody can relate to it. They either wanted that family or they had that family.”

“The Waltons” ran for nine seasons from 1972 to 1981. In 2013, the Emmy and Peabody award-winning television show ranked number 34 on TV Guide’s list of the 60 Best Series of All Time.

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