John Lee Walton Jr. is the main character in The Waltons. The series is told through his perspective growing up on Walton's Mountain. The beginning and ending of each episodes are excerpts from John-Boy's journal (read by Earl Hamner, Jr.). Throughout the series, he is commonly referred to as "John-Boy".
John-Boy is the oldest son and child of John Walton and Olivia Walton. His biggest passion is his love for writing, as revealed in The Homecoming. He was afraid his parents would be upset over his choice, but they were very understanding and encouraged him do whatever he liked. He would often take control of the other children if they were misbehaving or no other authority was around. In Season 1, he is a senior in the Walton's Mountain School, and is on the verge of graduating. After graduating, he attends Boatwright University for several semesters. During this time, he helps out in the lumber mill and runs a small newspaper business in the shed next to the house. The newspaper, called the "Blue Ridge Chronicle", focuses on local stories around Walton's Mountain.
Eventually, John-Boy finishes the novel he's been working on and submits it to the editors at one of the New York publishing companies, who find his work very "homely". After Season 5, John Boy becomes a minor character, his last appearance portrayed by Richard Thomas in the two-part episode John Boy Returns. For the remainder of the series, John-Boy would be played by Robert Wightman. As war looms closer, John Boy is assigned as a reporter for the fictional newspaper publisher which provides updates from the war front in Europe. The Waltons receive a telegram that states John Boy's plane has been shot down over Germany and he has been reported M.I.A. Fortunately, John Boy survives and is found at the Alexandria hospital, in a coma. He awakens with a case of amnesia. Eventually, he remembers the events that unfolded after his plane was shot down in The Furlough.
For the remainder of the series, John Boy stays at home, helping around the house as much as he can.
He is very family-orientated and has a special relationship with his brothers and sisters. He is very polite, courteous, and friendly but very talkative, stubborn, and independent. He will stand up for what's right and gets very emotional when talking.