As they chronicle family life with a focus on love and morality, the Waltons have become famous. The same can not, sadly, be said for what some of the actors have seen behind the scenes.
Mary Elizabeth McDonough claims she was thrown into a downward spiral by a joke about her weight by someone she worked with. Fortunately, she had John Ritter, her co-star, who offered her advice to change her life.
Mary Elizabeth McDonough tells how poor eating habits were created by her
When she was just 11 years old, McDonough started her part in the Waltons series. For almost a decade, she stayed on the series, into her late teens.
McDonough claims she started to have body image problems despite the popularity and attention she got from the series, since she was told she was overweight.
“Erin was supposed to be the pretty one, so there was a lot of pressure for me to look a certain way and weigh a certain amount.”Erin was supposed to be the pretty one, so there was a lot of pressure for me to look a certain way and weigh a certain amount.
McDonough started an unhealthy eating pattern to fit into the mold as a result. A lot of extreme dieting and malnutrition and trying to fit in and be ideal before I realized that there was no perfection that way,”I created a body image problem for myself – a lot of radical dieting and starvation and trying to fit in and be perfect until I realized there was no perfection that way,”I created a body image problem for myself.
Mary Elizabeth McDonough describes how her life was saved by John Ritter
Her wellbeing started to be adversely impacted by McDonough’s bad eating habits and excessive dieting.
During an Oprah 2015 appearance: Where Are They Now? She outlined how serious her health issues had gotten.
She said, “The message to me became this pressure to be perfect and look perfect and act perfect and not make mistakes, and it took its toll on me,” I had an ulcer when I was 15, my hair was falling out, I had rashes on my head, and I remember my parents bringing me to the doctor.
“McDonough’s parents were unfortunately unaware of her insecurities. “So the doctor said, ‘Well, is she under pressure? ‘And my parents said,’ No, she’s the world’s luckiest girl, are you kidding me? ‘”
Related: Brat Pack actor Mary Beth McDonough felt “humiliated and devastated” by “The Waltons’ star”
Luckily, Ritter, who appeared as a guest in many “The Waltons,” episodes, realized McDonough was struggling and unhappy.
She says that Ritter kept asking her if she was OK. Per McDonough, Ritter declined to acknowledge McDonough’s “I’m fine” answer, and he offered something that eventually got her on track.
He said, ‘No, no, I want you to start keeping a journal.’ And I began journaling that night, and it saved my life,”He said, ‘No, no, I want you to start keeping a journal.’ And that night I started journaling and it saved my life,”
The other health conditions of Mary Elizabeth McDonough
McDonough continued to work, starring in ventures such as General Hospital, Boston Legal and Mortuary in film and television.
Sadly, she struggled later in life with other health issues.
McDonough was diagnosed with lupus erythematosus at the age of 35, an autoimmune condition that affects healthy tissue. She says the lupus resulted from breast implant surgery she had undergone about a decade ago.
“In 2015, McDonough told Fox News, “I had breast implants to fit in and be part of the ‘Dallas’ era.” I made that decision because I was told they were healthy and would last a lifetime.
They weren’t and I got very, very sick, very, very sick…. The implants in my chest ruptured and disintegrated. For 10 years, I was sick and no one knew what was wrong with me.
She had the implants removed later and says that decision helped bring her health back on track.