Born on January 20th, 1926
From Packard, Kentucky
On Christmas Eve 1933, a rural Virginia clan, the Waltons, are preparing to celebrate the holiday. But patriarch John Walton (Andrew Duggan), who has gone off to the big city in search of work, still hasn't returned home, and a heavy snowstorm only adds more cause for worry. Teenage son John-Boy (Richard Thomas) tries to distract his siblings by explaining the real meaning of Christmas to them, before his mother (Patricia Neal) finally sends John-Boy out to find his father.
Timmy Cleary (Martin Sheen), who was once considered timid, returns from duty in World War II with newfound confidence. Soon, he realizes that his parents, John (Jack Albertson) and Nettie (Patricia Neal), have long been feigning happiness for the benefit of their son. John is a heavy drinker guilty of numerous infidelities, while Nettie has deeply resented her husband and coddled Timmy for years. When Timmy tries to resolve his parents' issues for them, emotional chaos ensues.
Naval Captain Torrey (John Wayne) manages to bring his ship through the bombing of Pearl Harbor unscathed, but is later demoted when it is damaged in a subsequent battle due to his negligence. Back on land, he begins a reconciliation with his estranged son (Brandon de Wilde) and a romance with nurse Maggie (Patricia Neal), but duty calls him away when he and his firebrand friend, Cmdr. Paul Eddington (Kirk Douglas), are tasked with salvaging a dangerous and important mission.