About Michael Learned
Learned also worked in TV longforms, beginning with Couldn't Happen to a Nicer Guy" (ABC, 1974). Other roles include as one of several Floridians trying to survive a "Hurricane" (ABC, 1974) and tennis instructor to "Little Mo" (NBC, 1978). Learned also appeared in two well-received adaptations of stage plays: a Showtime adaptation of William Inge's "Picnic" (1986) and a PBS adaptation of Arthur Miller's "All My Sons" (1987). Subsequent roles have included the plantation wife of the owner of Kunta Kinte in "Roots: The Gift" (ABC, 1988), the mother of Suzanne Somers and wife of her alcoholic father in "Keeping Secrets" (ABC, 1991), and the mother of the victim in "Murder in New Hampshire: The Pamela Smart Story" (NBC, 1991). Learned has also reprised her most famous role as Olivia Walton in several reunion films on both NBC (1982) and CBS (1993, 1995 and 1997).
Learned has made relatively few big screen appearances. In "Touched By Love" (1980), she played a doctor overseeing a cerebral palsy victim who corresponds with Elvis Presley. She also appeared as the governor in Sidney Lumet's "Power" (1986), about the media manipulation of government.
Throughout two decades of TV stardom, Learned has remained true to her stage roots. She replaced Jane Alexander as the successful banker eldest sibling in Wendy Wasserstein's "The Sisters Rosensweig" on Broadway. Among her other recent stage roles were in Brian Friel's "Dancing at Lughnasa" and an acclaimed Los Angeles production of Edward Albee's Pulitzer Prize-winning "Three Tall Women". In the latter, she essayed the role of B, the middle-aged woman.
|Glenn Chadwick. married in 1974; divorced in 1976|
|Peter Donat. married on September 8, 1956; separated in 1971; divorced in 1974|
|William Parker. married on December 18, 1979|
|American Conservatory Theatre, San Francisco , California|
|Appeared in the McCarter Theater production of Edward Albee's "All Over"|
|Co-starred in the Broadway revival of "The Best Man"|
|Reprised role of Olivia Walton in TV-movie reunion specials in 1993, 1995 and 1997|
|Played Suzanne Somers mother in "Keeping Secrets"; Helen Hunt's mother'in-law in miniseries "Murder in New Hampshire: The Pamela Smart Story"|
|Starred in ABC sitcom "Living Dolls"|
|Returned to series TV in the short-lived ABC medical drama "Hothouse"|
|Had starring role in the CBS medical series "Nurse"; won fourth Emmy|
|Made TV-movie debut, "It Couldn't Happen to a Nicer Guy" (ABC)|
|Starred as Olivia Walton on TV series "The Waltons" (CBS); won three Emmy Awards|
|Moved to L.A.|
|Became company member of the American Conservatory Theatre, appeared in|
|Moved with Donat to San Francisco|
|Began career in show business as an apprentice at the American Shakespeare Festival in Stratford, Connecticut; met future husband Peter Donat|
|As an adolescent, grew up in Austria while her father worked there as a US government employee|