BornGeer AS Grandpa in Frankfort, Indiana, in 1902, actor and political activist Will Geer became best known for his role as Grandpa Zebulon Tyler Walton on the television series “The Waltons” 1972-81. Previously he had acted in radio in the 1930’s and 40’s, numerous plays, and in more than a dozen films. He died April 22, 1978, in Los Angeles.