The youngest Walton son, James Robert Walton, also referred to as Jim-Bob Walton was born in 1939. Before pursuing his dreams of flight, he was well renowned for tinkering and comprehending the workings of cutting-edge technologies, occasionally with his head in the clouds.
Although Jim-Bob had high aspirations, David W. Harper, who played him, would have a much more secluded life once The Waltons ended. After leaving Walton’s Mountain, what happened to this young actor?
Harper was born on October 4, 1961, in Abilene, Texas. Harper is the son of The Wild Bunch actor Paul Harper, however, his career didn’t get started until 1971. Beginning in 1971 with his iconic portrayal as Jim-Bob, he launched his acting career with a bang.
The Homecoming: A Christmas Tale, a made-for-TV movie about John Walton’s desire to spend Christmas with his progressively alarmed family, served as the inspiration for The Waltons.
When CBS approved a series based on the movie based on Earl Hamner Jr.’s book Spencer’s Mountain, the adult cast would undergo considerable changes, but Harper was among the kids who remained.
The fact that this one-season continuation was mandated was also fortunate. After all, the movie was a hit, and the program rapidly proved that it could sustain that popularity.
Although Elizabeth Walton, played by Kami Cotler, played the infant, Harper’s character was the youngest guy in the family. However, Harper claimed that he did not intend to live with the Waltons or pretend to be one of them when he played Jim-Bob.
Nonetheless, Harper’s personality is revealed in Jim-Bob through his excitement for a variety of interests and subjects: just as Jim-Bob dove into whatever piqued his interest, so would Harper, whether it was music, movies, or history, notably the American Civil War.
From around the age of ten to twenty, Harper would develop on the program. At special Easter, Thanksgiving, Mother’s Day, and wedding feasts throughout the 1980s and 1990s, viewers joined the Waltons. There were cameo appearances in Fletch, The Blue, The Gray, and Walking Tall in between.
In the Easter special from 1997, he made his last appearance as Jim-Bob. The Waltons’ ratings started to decline as the season came to a close. This is attributed to a number of things, such as competition with Mork and Mindy and the typical cliches of a long-running sitcom depicting youngsters growing up and losing their youthful appeal.
They had to change their approach, and John-Boy did play a prominent role in the following chapters, but Hamner and Ralph Waite were quarreling behind the scenes about the screenplays. Naturally, many applications run for the maximum amount of time before being stopped.
Harper presented a boy who, despite having a spiritual bent, was uninterested in religion and content to daydream about things like airplanes that were greater but more realistic than faith. Yet, this person was hiding a quiet tragedy, embodied by the deceased twin Jim-Bob who was never able to meet.
Years later, some of Harper’s inner anguish would seep into his personal life, but first, once he descended Walton’s Peak, he had to decide what to do next.
After the definitive series, Harper needed to complete his education. He preferred to talk about business. He would later follow his TV brother Eric Scott’s example and largely avoid the spotlight from that point forward. These commonalities prompted them to collaborate once more, even though there were no cameras or scripts present this time.
Around the same time as Harper’s entertainment career hit a snag, Scott also did, and he soon found himself looking for work in numerous locations. One that said “WANTED DRIVERS” was meant to be transient.
Scott nonetheless advanced through the ranks, receiving promotion after promotion, until he eventually held the positions of vice president of marketing and owner of Chase Messengers. This package delivery company is located in Encino. Drivers are necessary for a business like that, therefore Harper filled this demand during his free time. Ben and Jim-Bob were back together!
While he enjoys meeting fans and keeping in touch with his TV family, Harper’s return to The Waltons is limited since he prefers solitude to themed events. Sadly, his family suffered tragedy when his father, Paul, received a terminal cancer diagnosis. Up until his father’s passing in 2010, Harper, the dependable son, took care of him. Music, crossword puzzles, and most significantly, his faith—which he upholds every day by worshiping God—are the things that bring him contentment.
Because he occasionally gets confused with a Los Angeles art dealer of the same name, keeping up with the private Harper is more challenging. If The Waltons fans are able to meet the now-61-year-old Harper, they can find comfort in the accounts of those who did meet him, who describe the former actor as down to earth and comfortable with being called Jim-Bob.
Like Mary McDonough, who played Erin Walton, he is rumored to be writing a memoir about his time on the show. Lovers of the Waltons should keep an eye out for the informative book!
What happened to Bob on The Waltons?
Jim-Bob from The Waltons, played by David W. Harper, eventually enlisted in the Army. Before retirement, he later earned a respectable income working as a systems analyst at the University of Virginia Hospital.
On The Waltons, what was Jim-secret? Bob’s
Jim-Bob kept a secret about having a twin sibling who passed away at birth. After locating Jim-birth Bob’s certificate, they come to this realization.
Did Jim-Bob Walton ever fly a plane?
The Air Force determined that Jim-Bob Walton was unfit for duty. Yet in the most recent movies, he had graduated to pilothood and was flying charter planes and crop dustering.