Famed writer and creator of the famed television series “The Walton’s”, Earl Hamner has passed away on Thursday at age 92. Earl Hamner apparently died during his sleep at Cedar Sinai Hospital where he was being treated for cancer, yet it had already metastasized.
Nevertheless, his loved ones surrounded him in his last moments while Earl’s favorite music was playing, said his son Earl Junior in a posting on Facebook. Hamner was a novelist and a television writer who was able to harness his childhood memories in the Virginia countryside in order to create a family drama that becomes one of the most popular TV shows back in the 70s.
He was also responsible for writing eight episodes of the show ‘The Twilight Zone’ as well as he turned his old novel called ‘Spencer’s Mountain’ and rewrote it as a television special. There’s no doubt that Hamner was ahead of the curb for his generation, as he was able to put some of his personal experience on paper and turn it into something the audience enjoyed and could relate to as well.
For instance, the creation of the TV special “The Homecoming: A Christmas Story” featuring a mountain family eagerly awaiting their father on Christmas Eve. The show not only received good reviews but also drew strong ratings, which made CBS pick the show and make it a series. This is when The Waltons is first created under the watchful guide of Hamner as his creator and executive producer.
The story of the family living in Virginia’s Blue Ridge Mountains gained nationwide popularity within months of its release and was awarded 14 Emmy Awards. Six of the Emmy Awards were only for its first season, and it was first broadcasted in September 1972 in the United States.
The Waltons TV show was capable of entertaining American families for up to nine years and over 200 episodes, where family values and whimsical occurrences were properly combined in every season.
Earl’s tumultuous background
Earl Hamner was born on July 10, 1923, in Schuyler, Va., being the oldest of eight children. When he was only in his sophomore year at the University of Richmond, he was drafted into the Army in the wake of World War II.
After spending some time in the Army, he was credited as a proper writer and was sent to the Quartermaster Corps after a superior officer found out Hamner could write.
Following the end of the war, Hamner earned his degree in 1948 in broadcast communications at the University of Cincinnati and began working on a radio station. It wasn’t up until 1962 when Hamner moved to California that he got his first shot at writing with ‘The Twilight Zone’, and the rest, as they say, is history.
Hamner is survived by his wife and son and leaves a gigantic legacy as one of the most talented writers in television.
Source: Washington Post