Best known for creating and narrating The Waltons, a television series based on his 1961 novel Spencer's Mountain, this Virginia-born author also penned numerous episodes of The Twilight Zone and wrote the screenplays for such films and soap operas as Palm Springs Weekend and Falcon Crest.
He published his first novel, Fifty Roads to Town, in 1953.
Though best known for The Waltons and Falcon Crest, he also created two other, shorter-lived television series: Boone and Apple's Way.
He grew up in Nelson County, Virginia. He based the grandparents in The Waltons on his maternal grandparents, Colonel Anderson and Ora Lee Gianniny, and devised the show's title by slightly adjusting the name of his paternal grandfather, Walter Clifton Hamner.
Richard Thomas was one of the stars of Hamner's television series, The Waltons.