The Info List - Michael Learned

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Michael Learned
Michael Learned
(born April 9, 1939) is an American actress, known for her role as Olivia Walton in the long-running CBS drama series The Waltons (1972–1979). She has won a record four Primetime Emmy Award for Outstanding Lead Actress in a Drama Series; three for The Waltons (1973, '74, '76), and one for Nurse (1982).[2]


1 Early life 2 Career

2.1 Television 2.2 Theatre

3 Personal life 4 Filmography

4.1 Film 4.2 Television films 4.3 Television series

5 References 6 External links

Early life[edit] Learned was born in Washington, DC, the daughter and oldest child of Elizabeth Duane "Betti" (née Hooper) and Bruce Learned, a diplomat.[3] Her maternal grandfather was an attaché for the United States Embassy in Rome.[4] She lived on a Connecticut
farm with her five sisters for the first 10 years of her life. Learned said that her parents never explained why she received a masculine first name, her father telling her elusively: "if I had been a boy, I would have been called Caleb, but I was a girl, so I was called Michael."[5] When she was 11, Learned moved to Austria, where her father worked for the U.S. State Department. At this time, she attended Arts Educational School, Tring, now Tring Park School for the Performing Arts
Tring Park School for the Performing Arts
in Tring, Hertfordshire, England. During this time, she discovered the theater and decided to make acting her life's work.[6] Career[edit] Television[edit] She was billed as "Miss Michael Learned" on The Waltons
The Waltons
(which ran from 1972–1981) because she was relatively unknown at the time, and producers wished to avoid confusion among viewers about her gender. By the sixth season, as the show continued its success and after the departure of co-star Richard Thomas, producers' fear of confusion about her sex had been alleviated and the "Miss" was removed from Learned's billing. She was nominated for six Emmy Awards and won three for her role of Olivia Walton. After the end of the sixth season, she agreed to appear for one more season, on the condition that she wouldn't have to work the full nine months.[7] Her character's abrupt disappearance was explained by Olivia developing tuberculosis and entering a sanatorium in Arizona. She made occasional guest appearances until the show's cancellation and later appeared in four of the six Waltons reunion movies made during the 1980s and 1990s. For her portrayal of Olivia Walton, Learned was nominated for four Golden Globe Awards. During her run as Olivia Walton, Learned and The Waltons
The Waltons
co-star, Will Geer, appeared together in the 1974 made-for-TV movie, Hurricane. Learned starred as Nurse Mary Benjamin in the hospital drama Nurse, which ran on CBS during the 1980–81 and 1981–82 seasons. Though the series was well received critically, it was not a ratings success and lasted only two seasons. Nevertheless, Learned was nominated for two Emmy Awards for Outstanding Lead Actress and won yet another Emmy for this role in 1982. She later had a starring roles in the unsuccessful 1988 drama Hothouse, and 1989 sitcom Living Dolls and reprised her Waltons role for a number of TV movies and reunions in the 1990s. In 2005, Learned played Judge Helen Turner on the ABC soap operas All My Children and One Life to Live
One Life to Live
as part of the "baby switch" storyline on both shows. In The Secret World of Alex Mack's second season, she guest-starred as a ghost who regretted the decisions of her long-estranged granddaughter, revealed at the end to be the show's main villain, Danielle Atron (Louan Gideon). She guest-starred in Scrubs as Mrs. Wilk in five episodes from the show's fifth season. She played Shirley Smith on ABC's General Hospital. In the fall of 2011, Learned played Katherine Chancellor
Katherine Chancellor
on the CBS daytime soap opera, The Young and the Restless, filling in for Jeanne Cooper, who was on extended medical leave from the series.[8] Theatre[edit]

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In the late 1960s, Learned and her then-husband (Peter Donat) appeared in various roles with the American Conservatory Theatre in San Francisco. She has appeared in many stage productions on Broadway, off Broadway, and elsewhere, including the 2006–2007 national touring production of On Golden Pond. In the fall of 2008, she starred in Innovation Theatre Works' production of Driving Miss Daisy, playing the title role of Daisy Werthen opposite Willis Burks II as Hoke and Dirk Blocker as Daisy's son Boolie. Personal life[edit] Learned has been married four times. Her first husband was Canadian-American actor Peter Donat, whom she married in 1956, when she was 17 years old. The marriage was dissolved in 1972. She had three children by the marriage: Caleb, Christopher, and Lucas Donat.[citation needed] Her second marriage, to Glenn Chadwick, lasted from 1975–77, and ended in divorce. In 1979, she married actor/screenwriter William Parker. That marriage ended in divorce as well. Since 1988, she has been married to lawyer John Doherty; the couple reside in California.[citation needed] In a 2002 article she wrote for Daily Word, a publication of the Unity Church, Learned states that at the time she was cast in The Waltons, she had "hit rock bottom". Then, at age 32, Learned realized she was an alcoholic. Taking herself to ex-husband Peter Donat's cabin on the California coast, she decided to "get sober" and that her time there was the beginning of a spiritual journey. Learned further stated in the article that she has been sober since 1977.[1] Filmography[edit] Film[edit]

Year Title Role Notes

1980 Touched by Love Dr. Bell

1986 Power Governor Andrea Stannard

1993 Dragon: The Bruce Lee Story Vivian Emery

1997 Life During Wartime N/A

2000 For the Love of May Mary Lou Short film

2005 Lethal Eviction Elsa

2005 Loggerheads Sheridan Bellamy

2007 The Killer The Innkeeper Short film

2009 An American Girl: Chrissa Stands Strong Nana Louis Hanlon

2014 Unplugged Grandma Katie Short film

2014 The Parcel Beverly Short film

2014 After Life Gloria

Television films[edit]

Year Title Role Notes

1963 The Other Man N/A

1974 Hurricane Lee Jackson

1974 It Couldn't Happen to a Nicer Guy Janet Walters

1978 Little Mo Eleanor Tennant

1980 Nurse Mary Benjamin

1980 A Christmas Without Snow Zoe Jenson

1982 Mother's Day on Waltons Mountain Olivia Walton

1984 The Parade Rachel Kirby

1986 A Deadly Business Ann

1986 Picnic Rosemary Sidney

1987 Mercy of Murder? Skipper

1988 Roots: The Gift Amelia Parker

1990 Gunsmoke: The Last Apache Mike Yardner

1991 Aftermath: A Test of Love Irene

1991 Murder in New Hampshire: The Pamela Wojas Smart Story Judy Smart

1991 Keeping Secrets Marion Mahoney

1992 Mattie's Waltz Mattie

1993 A Walton Thanksgiving Reunion Olivia Walton

1995 A Walton Wedding Olivia Walton

1997 A Walton Easter Olivia Walton

1998 A Father for Brittany Edna Humphreys

Television series[edit]

Year Title Role Notes

1968 Wojeck Nina Eden 2 episodes

1972–79 The Waltons Olivia Walton 168 episodes Primetime Emmy Award for Outstanding Lead Actress in a Drama Series (1973–74, 1976) Nominated—Golden Globe Award for Best Actress – Television Series Drama (1973–76) Nominated—Primetime Emmy Award for Outstanding Lead Actress in a Drama Series (1975, 1978–79)

1973 Gunsmoke Mike Yardner Episode: "Matt's Love Story"

1973 Gunsmoke May Lassiter Episode: "A Game of Death... An Act of Love Part 2"

1973 Match Game 73 Herself Episode: "1.6"

1973–74 Insight Sister Janet 2 episodes

1974 Police Story Linda Keitlinger Episode: "Love, Mabel"

1981–82 Nurse Nurse Mary Benjamin 25 episodes Primetime Emmy Award for Outstanding Lead Actress in a Drama Series Nominated—Primetime Emmy Award for Outstanding Lead Actress in a Drama Series

1984 St. Elsewhere Sister Millicent Domencia 2 episodes

1988 Hothouse Dr. Marie Teller 7 episodes

1989 Murder, She Wrote Maria Hudson Episode: "Trevor Hudson's Legacy"

1989 Who's the Boss? Trish Carlin 2 episodes

1989 Living Dolls Trish Carlin 12 episodes

1990 Wiseguy Rachel 2 episodes

1994 Reading Rainbow Herself Episode: "Appelemondo's Dream"

1995 The Secret World of Alex Mack Ghost of Paradise Valley Episode: "The Secret"

1998 Profiler Helen Waters 3 episodes

1998 Promised Land Dolly Carstens Episode: "The Secret of Bluestem"

2000 Pensacola: Wings of Gold Congresswoman Benedict Episode: "Article 32"

2000 So Graham Norton Herself Episode: "3.8"

2003 Law & Order: Special
Victims Unit Candace Lamery Episode: "Privilege"

2005 All My Children Judge Turner Episode: "1.9044"

2005 One Life to Live Hon. Judge Turner 2 episodes

2006 Scrubs Mrs. Wilk 7 episodes

2009 Cold Case Louise Patterson '09 Episode: "WASP"

2010 General Hospital Shirley Smith 21 episodes

2011 Mr. Sunshine Maggie Episode: "The Best Man"

2011 The Young and the Restless Katherine Chancellor 13 episodes


^ a b Learned, Michael (December 2002). "My Spiritual Journey". Daily Word. Archived from the original on March 28, 2014. Retrieved January 20, 2014.  ^ " Michael Learned
Michael Learned
profile". Television Academy. Retrieved October 20, 2014.  ^ Love, Barbara J. (1970). Foremost women in communications: a biographical reference work on accomplished women in broadcasting, publishing, advertising, public relations, and allied professions. Foremost Americans Publishing Corporation.  ^ "Elizabeth B. Hooper is Married in Rome – The Daughter of Attache at the American Embassy in Italy Wed to Bruce Learned". The New York Times. July 1936. Retrieved January 20, 2014.  ^ "Olivia Walton by another name is just Michael Learned". The Morning News. Ancestry.com #Newspapers.com. 26 April 1980. (Subscription required (help)).  access-date= requires url= (help) ^ " Michael Learned
Michael Learned
– Biography". The New York Times. New York: New York Times. 2010. ISSN 0362-4331. Retrieved January 20, 2014.  ^ "Walton family will lose hard-working old Olivia". Hutchinson News. Heritage Microfilm, Inc. #NewspaperARCHIVE. 10 November 1978. (Subscription required (help)).  access-date= requires url= (help) ^ Kroll, Dan J. (October 21, 2011). " Jeanne Cooper
Jeanne Cooper
taking medical leave from Y&R". Soapcentral. Retrieved January 20, 2014. 

External links[edit]

Michael Learned
Michael Learned
on IMDb Michael Learned
Michael Learned
at the Internet Broadway Database
Internet Broadway Database
Michael Learned
Michael Learned
at the Internet Off-Broadway Database Michael Learned
Michael Learned
interview video at the Archive of American Television

v t e

Primetime Emmy Award for Outstanding Lead Actress in a Drama Series

Helen Hayes
Helen Hayes
(1952) Loretta Young
Loretta Young
(1954) Loretta Young
Loretta Young
(1956) Loretta Young
Loretta Young
(1959) Barbara Stanwyck
Barbara Stanwyck
(1961) Barbara Stanwyck
Barbara Stanwyck
(1966) Barbara Bain
Barbara Bain
(1967) Barbara Bain
Barbara Bain
(1968) Barbara Bain
Barbara Bain
(1969) Susan Hampshire
Susan Hampshire
(1970) Susan Hampshire
Susan Hampshire
(1971) Glenda Jackson
Glenda Jackson
(1972) Michael Learned
Michael Learned
(1973) Michael Learned
Michael Learned
(1974) Jean Marsh (1975) Michael Learned
Michael Learned
(1976) Lindsay Wagner
Lindsay Wagner
(1977) Sada Thompson
Sada Thompson
(1978) Mariette Hartley
Mariette Hartley
(1979) Barbara Bel Geddes
Barbara Bel Geddes
(1980) Barbara Babcock
Barbara Babcock
(1981) Michael Learned
Michael Learned
(1982) Tyne Daly
Tyne Daly
(1983) Tyne Daly
Tyne Daly
(1984) Tyne Daly
Tyne Daly
(1985) Sharon Gless
Sharon Gless
(1986) Sharon Gless
Sharon Gless
(1987) Tyne Daly
Tyne Daly
(1988) Dana Delany
Dana Delany
(1989) Patricia Wettig
Patricia Wettig
(1990) Patricia Wettig
Patricia Wettig
(1991) Dana Delany
Dana Delany
(1992) Kathy Baker
Kathy Baker
(1993) Sela Ward
Sela Ward
(1994) Kathy Baker
Kathy Baker
(1995) Kathy Baker
Kathy Baker
(1996) Gillian Anderson
Gillian Anderson
(1997) Christine Lahti
Christine Lahti
(1998) Edie Falco
Edie Falco
(1999) Sela Ward
Sela Ward
(2000) Edie Falco
Edie Falco
(2001) Allison Janney
Allison Janney
(2002) Edie Falco
Edie Falco
(2003) Allison Janney
Allison Janney
(2004) Patricia Arquette
Patricia Arquette
(2005) Mariska Hargitay
Mariska Hargitay
(2006) Sally Field
Sally Field
(2007) Glenn Close
Glenn Close
(2008) Glenn Close
Glenn Close
(2009) Kyra Sedgwick
Kyra Sedgwick
(2010) Julianna Margulies
Julianna Margulies
(2011) Claire Danes
Claire Danes
(2012) Claire Danes
Claire Danes
(2013) Julianna Margulies
Julianna Margulies
(2014) Viola Davis
Viola Davis
(2015) Tatiana Maslany
Tatiana Maslany
(2016) Elisabeth Moss
Elisabeth Moss

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WorldCat Identities VIAF: 33413899 LCCN: n84229131 ISNI: 0000 0000 2868 7730 BNF: cb14197574c (da