Earl Hamner, Creator of ‘The Waltons,’ Dies at 92

Writer and producer was diagnosed with cancer in 2014

“The Waltons” and “Falcon Crest” creator Earl Hamner died Thursday. He was at 92.

Hamner’s daughter confirmed the news on Facebook on that afternoon, writing: “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 Ricky Mountain High.”

Hamner, who was best known for his work as creator, writer and narrator of the long-running CBS sitcom “The Waltons,” also created a number of other series, including “Apple’s Way,” Morningstar/Eveningstar” and “Falcon Crest,” which ran for nine seasons on CBS.

His novel, “Spencer’s Mountain,” was adapted into a movie starring Henry Fonda and Maureen O’Hara in 1963.

According to his daughter, Hamner had been diagnosed with cancer in 2014.

“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,” she wrote. “My heart is broken as I say, ‘Goodnight, Dad!'”

Read the full statement below:

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 Ricky 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!”

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