In Loving Memory of Earl Hamner

July 10, 1923 - March 24, 2016

In Loving Memory of Carolyn Grinnell

November 01, 1938
- March 23, 2022



Michael Learned then                                                 and today (2014)                    


Michael Learned

Michael Learned was born on April 9, 1939 in Washington, DC. She is the oldest of six daughters.The first 10 years she grew up on a farm in Connecticut.Her father worked for the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the United States and in 1950 he was ordered first to Austria and later to England.The family moved with him to Europe.From this periodMichael Learned still speaks a little German.InLondon she attended a private school and here she discovered her interest in acting.

Her film career began in the early '60s with small roles and appearances in series and TV shows (Gunsmoke). In 1972she had great international success in playing the role of Olivia Walton, the faithful and caring mother in the TV series "The Waltons".This role brought her much recognition, she was four times nominated for a Golden Globe Award in the years 1973 to 1976.In the period from 1973 to 1978 she received six nominations for an Emmy.Three times she won an Emmy. 1978 Michael Learned decided to quit her contract and leave the successful series "The Waltons".Her departure from the show was declared to the TV audience by tuberculosis disease of "Ma Walton" and her long stay in a sanatorium.

However, even after she had left the series Michael Learned was acting again as Olivia Walton for the following movies of the Waltons.

After her exit from "The Waltons" Michael Learned was a busy actress, in film and television as well as on the drama stage.  She played the female leading role in the TV production "Nurse" (1980).For this role she received another Emmy. She also took part in the film biography Dragon - The Bruce Lee Story in 1993.In addition to numerous appearances in TV productions (such as Scrubs, Cold Case), Michael Learned is also seen in several theater productions, also on Broadway.

At the age of 17 Michael married in 1956 the Canadian actor Peter Donat.They have three sons together, Caleb, Chris und Lucas. In 1972 they were divorced.In 1975Michael married Glenn Chadwick, from whom she separated only two years later.  In 1979 Michael was married again to actor William Parker.Since 1991 she is happily married to the producer and director John Doherty and they both live in California.

Michael´s first name was given by her father, who had expected the birth of a son and already had chosen this name for him.After he became a father of a little daughter he just decided to keep the chosen name.




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