Meet our Cast
Great professionals with amazing backgrounds. Our cast is made of award winning talents.
Four-time Best Actress Emmy Award winner Michael Learned was born on April 9, 1939 in Washington, D.C. The oldest of six daughters of a U.S. State Department employee, she was raised on her family's farm in Connecticut. The family moved to Austria when she was age 11, and it was while attending boarding school in England that she fell in love with the theater and decided to become an actress.
Learned married Oscar winner Robert Donat's nephew Peter Donat, a Canadian citizen, when she was 17 years old, a marriage that lasted 17 years and produced three sons. She learned her craft while acting for the Shakespeare Festivals in both Canada and the U.S. while simultaneously raising a family. She and her husband Peter acted together with San Francisco's American Conservatory Theatre (ACT) in the early 1970s. Her breakthrough came when she was appearing in an ACT production of Noël Coward's "Private Lives", where she was spotted by producer Lee Rich, who cast her as Olivia Walton in his new television series about a Depression era family, The Waltons (1971).
Learned won three Emmy Awards playing the role, and another Emmy for her next foray into series TV, Nurse (1981). She escaped typecasting as Olivia Walton (although she re-prised the role that made her famous in a 1995 TV-movie reunion) while appearing on numerous shows and TV movies, including top-drawer, made-for-TV specials such as the 1986 adaptation of Arthur Miller's American Playhouse: All My Sons (1987) with co-star James Whitmore.
- IMDb Mini Biography By: Jon C. Hopwood
JOHN WESLEY belongs to a “fraternity” of actors, rooted deeply in the American theatre with a strong educational background, stemming from a life-long history of activism, social reform and a tenacious respect for the Craft.
A consummate veteran of stage, television and film, as well as the United States Army, John (born John Wesley Houston), holds the distinct pleasure of having worked with some of the world’s finest performers and directors, from Denzel Washington to Albert Finney, Barbra Streisand to Tim Burton, James Earl Jones to Michael Apted, James Spader to Morgan Freeman… and the list goes on.
John Wesley received his Master of Fine Arts degree from the University of California, San Diego and his Bachelor of Arts Degrees from the University of San Diego, where he also majored in Political Science. These accomplishments, along with the wealth of talent John has exemplified throughout his career, has often brought the student back as teacher, having returned to teach Master classes of Classical Theatre for the university.
Once a “bit actor” early in his career, John would go from “bit” to “hit” when he was cast as a security guard in the smash hit 48 Hours (1982). From there his career would lead to more than 100 film and television movies. Select hits include Missing in Action (1984), where the credits displayed “and introducing John Wesley”, Big Fish (2003), The Wood (1999), and Thirteenth Child (2002).