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Thursday, June 11, 2009

Update on Cast Member of The Waltons - Leslie Winston

As a fan of the television drama series, The Waltons, it's a joy to occasionally receive an update on how The Walton cast members are doing and what they've been up to - since the show ended.

I just discovered this very nice article written on June 1, 2009 about Leslie Winston, who portrayed Cindy Walton. She sounds like she is a very involved wife and mother, who still keeps in touch with her acting roots, but puts her family first.

Here's a direct link to the article at Globe Gazette:


In case you are unable to open the article, which includes a picture of Ben and Cindy, I will include the news story below and give all credit to the writer, MARY PIEPER.

Former 'Walton' now behind scenes in TV


Leslie Winston went from starring in summer theater productions and school plays while growing up in Mason City to being a cast member of “The Waltons.”

Today Winston still works in the TV industry but in a more behind-the-scenes capacity.
She primarily does “looping” — which consists mostly of voice-over work that “sweetens” the sound of a scene in post-production. This can include anything from singing to clapping.
She did looping for the TV shows “Ally McBeal” and “Boston Legal.”

Winston, the daughter of Mason City residents Hal and Carol Winston, got involved in a summer theater program when she was between fifth and sixth grades. She also was in plays in junior high and high school.

During a phone interview with the Globe Gazette, she said David Giese, the drama director at Mason City High School, was a great mentor to her.

“I can’t say enough good things about him,” Winston said.

After graduating from MCHS in 1974, Winston went to the University of Iowa and majored in drama. After two years she transferred to UCLA.

She left college with just one quarter to go because she landed a role in a movie.
After she finished filming the movie, she was on a short-lived, late-night TV series that was a remake of “Peyton Place.” She was still on that show when she was cast as Cindy, Ben’s wife, on “The Waltons.”

She first appeared on “The Waltons” in March 1979 and remained on the show until it ended in 1981.

Winston said being on “The Waltons” was “an absolutely sensational experience for me.”
Not only was it a hit TV show but she loved the producers and the rest of the cast.
Winston remembers she and the other young actors on the show would goof around a lot on the set.

She said the family dinner scenes “were nightmares for the directors” because they had to deal with 12 actors in a single scene.

Winston still remains close to the actors who played the Walton children. They attend each other’s weddings and children’s baptisms and Bar Mitvahs.

After “The Waltons” ended, Winston appeared in some movies and was a guest actor on several TV series.

Then she fell and shattered her elbow, which put her out of work for a year. She had trouble finding roles after being away from the business. Then, she and her husband, Bob Yannetti, an assistant director for various TV series, had their children. They have two daughters, Allie, 14, and Joey, 11.

Her daughters are one reason she got into looping work. Looping doesn’t involve auditions, which can take hours out of a day and more often than not don’t result in getting a role, she said.
It also allows her to be in the TV business and do things like being a leader for her daughters’ Brownie troop.

“I have been very, very fortunate,” Winston said.


I hope you enjoyed reading this update - as much as I did. I always thought Cindy (Leslie Winston) was such a lovely wife for Ben (Eric Scott). They made such a darling sweet couple. Sometimes when a new character is added into a long-running series - it's odd and un-natural, but not in this case... Cindy fit right in with the Walton family just beautifully. May God bless her and her family.



  1. Thank you, I am along tome Walton fan and appreciate this update.

  2. Thanks for the update on Cindy. I am a huge Waltons fan. What happened to Virginia, Ben and Cindy's daughter and why did they substitute Kirt. I remember the original Kirt in the series as an aviator, then some years later he came back as a doctor and married Mary Ellen, then apparently he left. When Mary Ellen went to find her @dead Husband', it was another man who had also played an earlier part as someone else.

    1. Virginia passed away from an illness around the age of 2 years. I believe that Cindy and Ben were unable (on the show) to have additional children - it put a stain on their marriage.

      Various actors played multiple parts on the show. Yes the actor Kurt (Kirt) played the aviator (different character) and later the physician. There was the woman ambulance driver (Jim Bob had a crush on her)from France during the war who eventually married the Sheriff - she played an earlier role for just one episode.
      Oh and there was a little boy (he may have actually been Elizabeth's real life brother - he had dark hair) he played multiple characters... one was the orphaned war boy from London. He and his sister stayed with the Walton's for Christmas and Jim Bob found his mom by short wave radio on xmas day (they were in the barn). I saw him again hanging out in the school play yard on another occasion. Watch the show long enough and you begin to notice - guess they liked the actor's. They did a good job playing multiple character's.

  3. In one of the later tv specials they mention that Virginia had died but they never mention how she died. The original Curtis Willard (tom bower) was "killed" at pearl harbor because bower wanted to pursue other opportunities in the business. I guess the writers wanted some controversy for mary ellen before she married "jonesy" so they brought Curtis Willard back to life.I don't remember the guy who played the second curt. As for Cindy Walton== What a doll she was ! I thought she was so gorgeous !!!

    1. The second Curt was played by Scott Hylands.

  4. where was cindy in the waltons movies back in the 90s i rember ben and cindy had a baby boy name charlie in the nbc movies of the waltons in 1982

    1. I remember Charlie, Ben and Cindy's second child.

    2. Tom Bower, the first Curtis Willard, was a wonderful actor, and acted a great part with Mary Ellen.

  5. Cindy did a great job as being Ben's wife!! I really enjoyed the shows that she was in! :)

  6. There was another actress (Robin Eisenman) who portrayed Cindy in one episode # 162 Day of Infamy. She drove the same red, 1940 Buick convertible that was used through the rest of the series

    1. She was only one once and such a spoiled brat. I’m glad they got another Cindy….

  7. Yes, I noticed "that" Cindy in "Day of Infamy." I'm aware that Robin Eisenman would not go on to play the Cindy who would marry Ben in the episode "The Outsider." But I believe that in "Day of Infamy" the producers may have been preparing the profile of the Cindy character and started out with Eisenman as a potential for the roll. Possibly things then changed which may have led to the roll going to Leslie Winston.


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