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Mary Elizabeth McDonough AKA Erin from ‘The Waltons’ Underwent Plastic Surgery after the Show Ended That Led to Severe Health Problems

Olowokandi Fiyin
Aug 20, 2021
11:00 A.M.
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"The Waltons" alum Mary Elizabeth McDonough struggled with health complications after her stint on the show. Mcdonough attributes going under the knife as the genesis of her health problems.


Mary Elizabeth McDonough lived out her child star years on the classic family TV series "The Waltons." However, when she was done playing Erin Walton on the show, she decided to try the other aspects of Hollywood.

McDonough would discover the harsh reality that came with breaking out of being a child star as she underwent plastic surgery to fit in. However, things went south when her health suffered from it.

Mary McDonough at the 'The Waltons' 40th anniversary reunion on September 29, 2012 in Los Angeles, California | Photo: Getty Images

Mary McDonough at the 'The Waltons' 40th anniversary reunion on September 29, 2012 in Los Angeles, California | Photo: Getty Images



In a 2012 interview with Fox News, the actress gave a detailed account of her struggles. McDonough said when she was trying to forge ahead with her Hollywood career, she got heads up on a new trend in the industry.

The TV star narrated everything she went through in her 2011 book, "Lesson From the Mountain: All I Learnt from Erin Walton." McDonough had a long bout with health issues. McDonough relayed about the period:

"It was the 'Dallas' era, big hair, big boobs, so I thought in order to compete in the industry that I want to work in I had to fit in…"


The "Snowballing" star recalled that within the first 24 hours, she had a rash on her back. She would live with the implants for some years, but her rash morphed into something else.

The "A Walton's Thanksgiving" actress' health deteriorated with time. McDonough chronicled that she experienced muscle pain, and her hair began to fall out. She was ultimately diagnosed with lupus, an autonomic disease.


McDonough once revealed how people would tell her she was the "beautiful one" on "The Waltons." This made her develop low-self esteem because she wondered if that was all she was worth.


These days, [McDonough] feels happier with herself, leaving the turbulent past behind.


It worsened when she began getting feedback that she was fat McDonough recalled starving herself to lose weight and fit in. The actress stated that she created a body image issue for herself.

The "Lake Effects" star relayed that after she removed the implants, her health started to improve, and lupus went into remission. She made it known that she became healthier than she was in her 30s.


McDonough has since plunged into creating an initiative to boost women's body image confidence. She clarified that she was not on the quest to condemn plastic surgery.

The actress added that she wanted to do her part in sensitizing women to be conscious of research. She also appealed to women to take proper precautions before undergoing body modification surgeries.



These days, she feels happier with herself, leaving the turbulent past behind. McDonough, an author, and novelist is married to Don, and they have three children together.

The actress once talked about her fellow castmates on “The Waltons.” She noted that they all remained a family after the show, checking up on each other and getting to know each other’s kids.

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