Eric Scott spent nearly 10 years of his youth working on the set of “The Waltons.” Obviously, the rules regarding children working in the entertainment industry are extremely strict. But that doesn’t change the fact that growing up a star on an iconic TV show is a bit out of the ordinary.
The difference? He hadn’t acted with other kids at that point in his life. His short career prior to “The Waltons” saw him playing one-off roles in shows like “Lancer” and “Bewitched.” He was always the sole kid in a plot that was otherwise revolving around adults.
On “The Waltons,” however, Eric Scott was just one small piece of a large Depression-era Virginia mountain family. And, at least for Scott, his childhood was always the priority, not his acting career. In fact, during his time on “The Waltons,” Eric Scott earned his college degree. And after the show came to an end, he opted to pursue a career in business as opposed to doing the acting thing full-time.
In a 2011 interview with Herbie J. Pilato of Media Biz Bloggers, Eric Scott talked about how new the experience was for him as a young teen.
“I did a lot of shows before ‘The Waltons’ where I was the only child on the set, or when there was maybe just one other child there. I had never worked with a group of kids like on ‘The Brady Bunch’ or ‘The Partridge Family.’ I didn’t know what it was like to be with other parents and other kids.”
Eric Scott Became His Family’s Breadwinner as a 13-Year Old Kid
When Eric Scott landed the role of Ben Walton on the Earl Hamner Jr. classic, his mom dropped everything to support him. And financially, it made sense.
Eric’s mom and dad both worked, but neither of them earned very much. So when Eric’s mom quit her job to be with him on “The Waltons” set every day, he knew he was doing something important. And more importantly, he felt supported.
“I grew up pretty much without anything,” Eric continued in the interview. “My dad struggled to make the house payments. My mom worked to keep us fed, and it wasn’t easy. So I felt that acting would provide a good way to pay for college.”
And provide a way to pay for college it did, and much more. As an adolescent, Eric Scott was providing for his family with his acting career. It’s hard to imagine that level of responsibility at such a young age. But whatever the Scotts did, Eric seems to have come out of the child star role with a good head on his shoulders.