Joe then ....                                             and today ( October 2010 )                          


Joe Conley, Ike Godsey of Walton´s Mountain

Joe Conley was born on March, 03, 1928 in Buffalo, New York. His parents are Joseph and Mary Conley. Joe has an older sister, Rosemary.

1945 Joe moved to Los Angeles, were his sister Rosemary already lived with her husband Clint. Joe stayed with various occasional jobs and a first role in a film. The money was always so less that he lived most of time from hand to mouth. In 1952 he served in the Korean War and he was awarded for his services in Korea.

After his return from Korea and the discharge from the military Joe still tried as an actor with small roles and various odd jobs to earn his living. Aside from acting, Joe also had the talent to entertain and sing. He won several amateur competitions and performed in various piano bars and clubs as a singer and entertainer.

Since 1961 Joe Conley worked alongside the show business as a successful real estate agent and at last had three very good running real estate offices in Los Angeles. For several years he was able to coordinate well the acting and the real estate business with not less than 12 employees. Even in the first years of his performances as Ike Godsey in "The Waltons" he still owned his three real estate offices.

In May 1972 Joe Conley received an unexpected phone call from his former agent, who asked him to go on an interview for a new TV series, which was untiteld at the moment. At this time, Joe had a very prosperous real estate business, he had just become a father of a young daughter and his future looked carefree. The play-acting had come to a standstill at this time, Joe had decided to concentrate on the real estate business. For this reason, he initially declined the offer for an interview. Finally he decided to make this interview. 14 days later he received the message that he had been given the role of the general store manager ! This was the beginning of a decades-long successful acting time !

Joe Conley also played in all six subsequent films with the Waltons until 1997. In 2000 he acted in the famous movie "Cast Away" with Tom Hanks.

In his in December 2009 published autobiography Joe Conley writes about his role as Ike Godsey :

"Ike Godsey was created by Earl Hamner, and lived on the screen from 1971 until 1997 - twenty-six years. The character still lives in reruns on a number of cable channels.

However, Joe Conley lives on through the present until some unknown date in the future. People ask me if I am retired and I smilingly answer them: "Actors don´t retire, they die. And I haven´t died yet." This retort usually gets a laugh.
But if I were to be honest with myself I have to admit that I'm retired. I no longer have an agent; I no longer go on interviews, and no longer even read Variety or The Hollywood Reporter. My career is probably over. However, I would work again if given the opportunity.

My career had one major highlight and that was playing Ike Godsey on The Waltons. "

Joe Conley has two children from first marriage, Kevin, born in 1960 and Julie, born 1961.
Since 1969 he is married to Louise Ann Louise Teechen. They both have two daughters, Erin Elizabeth, born in 1971 and Jana Lynne, born in 1974.

Today, Joe Conley lives near Los Angeles. He regularly enjoys playing golf with his wife Louise, he likes to travel, he is in good contact with his children and he has two grandchildren. He likes to attend the annual Walton Reunion and once a month he meets Eric Scott ( Ben ) for lunch. They still have a special friendship after all this years.

Looking back, Joe says in his autobiography that Ike was a good guy and Walton's Mountain was a good place to spend so many years.

Joe cites in his book the great comedian George Burns, who responded to the question of what made him so confident that he would be 100 years old:

I have to; I´m booked !

We wish you all the best, Joe Conley  -  Ike Godsey "America's best known and most popular Storekeeper" !

Joe Conley sadly passed away on Sunday, July 7th, 2013. He will be missed badly.

Here you can watch a wonderful video of Joe Conley, interviewed by Ray Castro about 1,5 year ago.



For my interview with Joe Conley click here




The autobiography of Joe Conley

" Ike Godsey of Waltons´s Mountain"

was published in December 2009 in Bearmanor Media Verlag. The book is available either at the publisher ( or

The book includes some very nice black and white photos and it is a must-have for every Joe Conley - and Waltonfan !



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