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Earl Hamner Jr., creator of “Waltons” TV show, dies at 92

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LOS ANGELES (AP) — Earl Hamner Jr., the versatile and prolific writer who drew upon his Depression-era upbringing in the Blue Ridge Mountains of Virginia to create one of television’s most beloved family shows, “The Waltons,” has died at age 92.

Hamner’s friend Ray Castro Jr., who produced a documentary about Hamner, says the writer died Thursday in Los Angeles and had recently been battling pneumonia.

Although best remembered for “The Waltons,” which aired for nine seasons and won more than a dozen Emmys, that show barely scratched the surface of Hamner’s literary accomplishments.

He was a best-selling novelist (“Spencer’s Mountain”), the author of eight episodes of the classic 1960s TV show “The Twilight Zone” and, as a screenwriter, adapted the popular children’s tale “Charlotte’s Web,” into a hit 2006 film.