When it comes to dramedies, none can boast the title at such an early stage of the genre’s development as Eight is Enough. Nor can many claim to do it so well as the show, featuring a broad cast of talent and five seasons of engaging plot. Among the cast stood Laurie Walters, known as Joanie Bradford, the third-oldest of eight Bradford children. But what did this sibling do after the semi-biographical show ended?
Laurie Walters was born on January 8, 1947, and called San Francisco, California home by birth and by career. Indeed, she would stay in the California area even without any cameras rolling for personal work based on passion projects.
Joining the family
Even before participating in a major stepping stone for television shows, Laurie Walters participated in some big, revolutionary projects. Shortly before joining Eight is Enough, she was in 1973’s The Harrad Experiment, which followed that decade’s sexual revolution. She would come back for its follow-up, The Harrad Summer then take part in Warlock Moon. Following this, her filmography came to include some guest-starring roles on some favorites of TV, including Cannon, The Rookies, and Happy Days.
Eight is Enough would represent a major part of Walters’ career, though it would be a mixed bag too. On the one hand, it gave her name exposure with a lot of time to show her skills. However, a cast that big meant budgeted screentime for everyone, and Walters felt she wasn’t the only one getting her spotlight time cut short. Additionally, the culture left production feeling like a boy’s club. “All the boys on the show get paid more than the women,” she revealed. “I think the women ought to join forces and negotiate together.”
What happened to Laurie Walters?
That never came to pass. The threat of Joanie’s removal from the script hung over Walters, so she stuck with the series and focused on feeling “grateful for what the show has meant to my career,” though not without some frustrations. After Eight is Enough, Walters continued acting with scripts she could also praise comfortably. In addition to three TV movies (including two Eight is Enough reunions), she also appeared on Fantasy Island, Cheers, Duet, Highway to Heaven, and Columbo.
Things slowed down for Walters and her biggest jobs recently included some plays within Southern California. In her personal life beyond the screen, she’s been married to John Slade since 1999 until his death in 2017. She also took up the cause of environmentalism, a cause she took up also in 1999.