Ronnie Claire Edwards, Actress on 'The Waltons,' Dies at 83

ABC/courtesy Everett Collection
Ronnie Claire Edwards

She played Corabeth Walton Godsey, the bossy wife of Ike the shopkeeper, on the CBS series.

Ronnie Claire Edwards, who portrayed the shopkeeper's busybody wife Corabeth Walton Godsey on the iconic CBS drama The Waltons, has died. She was 83.

Edwards died peacefully in her sleep on Tuesday, it was reported on her Facebook page.

The Waltons, created by Earl Hamner Jr., ran for nine seasons from September 1972 through June 1981 and continued with several telefilms. Edwards joined the series near the end of season three as the cousin of John (Ralph Waite), coming to Walton's Mountain after the death of her character's mother. Corabeth eventually married Ike Godsey (Joe Conley), and they adopted a daughter.

''I'd be on the up escalator in a store and the people on the down would be shouting, 'We hate you.' I sure had the best role," Edwards said in a 1993 interview. "Because of all that treacle, what was needed was another spice. It was a fantastic part, the best character in the show. People still remember, 'No credit, Mr. Godsey,' and that just delights me. I am very fond of Corabeth.''

Edwards also played a secretary in a legal office on the 1985 Gary David Goldberg NBC series Sara, starring Geena Davis and Alfre Woodard, and appeared as Aunt Dolly on another Hamner show, Boone, which revolved around country music and aired on NBC from 1983-84.

She also showed up on a 1994 episode of Star Trek: The Next Generation and on other series including Dallas, Hamner's Falcon Crest and Designing Women.

A native of Oklahoma City, Edwards didn't pick up acting until after she turned 30 and made her onscreen debut in the 1963 film All the Way Home. Her movie résumé also included Nobody's Fool (1986) and The Dead Pool (1988).

She was the author of the memoirs The Knife Thrower's Assistant and Mr. Godsey Asked Me to Marry Him and I Said: "Yes!": (Exit Sobbing), the latter with a foreword by Hamner.

Edwards restored a 1911 Catholic church on Swiss Avenue in Dallas and made it her home after selling her mansion in Los Angeles to Red Hot Chili Peppers bassist Flea in 2008.

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