‘The Waltons’ Star Joe Conley Dies at 85

Credit: Lorimar Productions

Week after week for nine straight years, television audiences would amble into the General Mercantile in Walton’s Mountain, Virginia, to be greeted by the smiling face of one Ike Godsey. Portrayed by character actor Joe Conley, Ike served as one of The Waltons‘ most recognizable and charming recurring players through the series’ nine season-long run. In the acting business for more than 20 years prior to hitching his wagon to the CBS drama, Conley embodied roles big and small in film and television alike. Sadly, Deadline reports that on July 7, the 85-year-old Conley passed away in a California care facility, approximately a decade after setting his acting career to rest.

Among the performer’s final roles was a part in the hit Tom Hanks drama Cast Away, which capped off a showbiz career that extended more than half a century. In addition to The Waltons, Conley enjoyed roles on other “small-town” classics, such as Mr. Ed, Lassie, The Brady BunchDragnet, Gunsmoke, Dennis the Menace, and Green Acres, but also appeared on the likes of Alfred Hitchcock Presents and in a Carol Channing Show television movie.

One of the everpresent faces in classic television, you’d be hard pressed not to happen upon Conley in the occasional late night rerun viewing. The amicable character actor is survived by his wife Louise Ann Teechen and their four children, Erin, Jana, Kevin, and Julie.

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