Michael Learned

Michael Learned Biography: Age, Wikipedia, Net Worth, Movies, Awards, Controversy

June 5, 2024 0 Posted By Abiodun Azeez

Michael Learned is a talented and iconic American actress who has made a lasting impact in the entertainment industry.

Best known for her iconic role as Olivia Walton in the beloved television series “The Waltons,” Learned has proven herself to be a versatile and dedicated actress, earning numerous awards and nominations for her work.

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  • Full name: Michael Learned
  • Date of birth: April 9, 1939
  • Age: 85 years old
  • Gender: Female
  • Place of birth: Washington, D.C., USA
  • Nationality: American
  • Profession: Actress
  • Height: 5 ft 6 in (168 cm)
  • Parents: Bruce Learned (father), Elizabeth Duane (mother)
  • Siblings: Three siblings
  • Spouse: Peter Donat (married 1956-1972), William Parker (married 1973-1976), John Doherty (married 1979-1988), Greg Harelson (married 1991-present)
  • Children: Christopher Donat, Caleb Donat, Lucas Donat
  • Relationship status: Married
  • Net worth: $5 million

Early Life and Education

Michael Learned is currently 85 years old and was born on April 9, 1939, in Washington, D.C. Her father, Bruce Learned, was a diplomat, and her mother, Elizabeth Duane, was a writer.

Learned spent her early years moving between the United States and Europe, attending schools in both continents.

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She developed an interest in acting at a young age and attended the Arts Educational School in England. Learned‘s family eventually settled in Austria, where she spent her teenage years.

She has fond memories of her childhood, stating, “I was a lucky child, I had a wonderful childhood, and I was very fortunate to have the parents I had.”

Learned‘s interest in acting grew during her teenage years, and she began performing in school plays and local theater productions.

After completing her secondary education, she attended the Arts Educational School in England, where she honed her acting skills.

Learned‘s early life was marked by her love for acting, and she was determined to make a career out of it.

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Personal Life

Michael Learned has been married four times and has three sons, Christopher Donat, Caleb Donat, and Lucas Donat, from her first marriage to Peter Donat.

Her personal life has been marked by challenges, including her struggles with alcoholism, which she has spoken publicly about.

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Learned has been open about her experiences, stating, “I was a functioning alcoholic, and I thought I could handle it, but I couldn’t.”

She has been sober since 1977 and has used her platform to raise awareness about addiction and recovery.

Learned‘s marriages have been a significant part of her personal life. Her first marriage to Peter Donat ended in divorce, and she later married William Parker, with whom she had a short-lived marriage.

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Her third marriage to John Doherty lasted for nine years, and she has been married to her current husband, Greg Harelson, since 1991.

Learned has spoken about the importance of her relationships, stating, “I’ve been very fortunate to have had wonderful husbands, and they’ve all been very supportive of my career.”


Michael Learned began her acting career on stage, performing in various productions with her husband Peter Donat in the 1960s.

She made her television debut in the 1960s, appearing in guest roles on several shows.

Her breakthrough role came in 1972 when she was cast as Olivia Walton in “The Waltons,” a role she played for nine seasons.

Learned‘s performance earned her four Emmy Awards for Outstanding Lead Actress in a Drama Series.

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She has continued to work in television and film, appearing in notable projects such as “Nurse,” “Touched by an Angel,” and “Scrubs.”

Learned‘s career was shaped by her ability to bring depth to her characters. She has played a wide range of roles, from dramatic characters to comedic ones, showcasing her versatility as an actress.

Learned has worked with some of the most talented directors and actors in the industry, including Steven Spielberg and Tom Hanks.

She has spoken about the importance of her craft, stating, “Acting is a privilege, and it’s a gift, and I feel very fortunate to have been able to do it for so long.”


  • Emmy Award for Outstanding Lead Actress in a Drama Series (1973, 1974, 1976, 1982)
  • Golden Globe nomination for Best Actress in a Television Series (1974, 1975, 1976, 1982)

Net Worth

Michael Learned‘s net worth is estimated to be around $5 million, accumulated through her successful acting career spanning over six decades.


Michael Learned has not been involved in any significant controversies throughout her career.

However, she has spoken publicly about her struggles with alcoholism and has used her platform to raise awareness about addiction and recovery.

Learned has been open about her experiences, stating, “I was a functioning alcoholic, and I thought I could handle it, but I couldn’t.”

Her honesty and vulnerability have helped to reduce the stigma surrounding addiction and have inspired others to seek help.

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Learned has also been involved in various charitable organizations, including the American Cancer Society and the Alzheimer’s Association.

She has used her platform to raise awareness and funds for these organizations, demonstrating her commitment to giving back to her community.

Social Media

  • Instagram: @michaellearnedofficial
  • Twitter: @michaellearned


  • The Waltons
  • Nurse
  • Touched by an Angel
  • Scrubs
  • The Secret World of Alex Mack
  • One Life to Live
  • The Young and the Restless

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