Those who grew up watching “The Waltons” might be saddened to hear that the show's beloved creator, Earl Hamner Jr., has passed away at 92 years old after a long battle with cancer.
The iconic show touched the lives of millions of views for years, offering a touching, family-oriented look at American life.
Earl's son Scott posted the news on Facebook, saying that Earl was surrounded by family and his favorite music before he passed away.
The post reads, in full:
I am very sorry to be the bearer of sad news. My father, Earl Hamner, passed away today at 12:20 PM Pacific time. Dad died peacefully in his sleep at Cedar Sinai Hospital. He was surrounded by family, and we were playing his favorite music, John Denver's Rocky Mountain Collection. Dad took his last breath half way through Rocky Mountain High. I am sure many of you know Dad was ill, but his amazing tenacity and fight masked how seriously ill he has been over the last year and a half. He was diagnosed with cancer in June of 2014, and had surgery performed in July on his 91st birthday. Unfortunately, the cancer had metastasized. The surgery was very invasive and when we went to see him in the ICU we were warned to prepare ourselves that it was uncertain he would make it through the night. I want to thank each and every one of you for your prayers, good wishes and kind thoughts - I can assure you that they sustained Dad and helped him to recover enough to proudly witness the final production of 'Earl Hamner: Storyteller', become the honored recipient of The Will Geer Theatricum Botanicum Humanitarian Award, and accept Media Heritage Founder's Award. There is not a doubt in my mind that he would not have made it this far without you — and we had the good fortune to keep him in our lives a bit longer despite the odds against him. He never got enough of this great gift of life with which we have all been so deeply blessed — and he hung on as tightly as anyone could with insatiable passion and wonder. My heart is broken as I say, “Goodnight, Dad!”
- Scott Hamner
“The Waltons” captivated audiences for nine seasons on CBS, as well as numerous TV movies, with its aspirational representation of the American dream and strong family values.
Earl based much of “The Waltons” off his own upbringing in rural Virginia. According to Fox News, the famed story teller was the eldest of eight children. His father worked in a coal mine, and his mother's family was from Italy.
Earl is survived by his wife, Jane; son, Scott; and daughter, Caroline.
To Earl Hamner, Jr. we say goodnight.