Rooting for Emmy: Local family has ties to emmy nominee

O ne local family will be watching this Sunday’s 64th annual Emmy Awards ceremony with bated breath.

The Ingalls family of Whitehall — David, JoAnn, Laura, Leanne, and Carol Matheny — have a vested interest in the outcome of this year’s show. That’s because one of their own has a chance to take home one of the gold statuettes.

Darrell Fetty was one of eight producers of the History Channel’s miniseries “Hatfields and McCoys,” which garnered 16 Emmy nominations, the most in the network’s history, including for best miniseries or movie, two for lead actor, supporting actor and actress, directing, writing, and several others.

Fetty is married to Joyce Ingalls, the daughter of JoAnn and the late Fredrick Ingalls of Whitehall.

“He’s walking on clouds. He’s so excited about the nominations,” Joyce said.

Although she was born in California and now lives in Los Angeles with Darrell and their two sons, Joyce is intimately familiar with Whitehall.

Her father was born in the community and after retiring from a long career in the U.S. Navy, moved back to Whitehall where he lived out the remainder of his life. As a child, Joyce and her siblings would visit the community each summer.

“The girls used to terrorize Whitehall,” joked Matheny, Joyce’s sister. Those summers left an indelible mark on Joyce, who visits the community each summer to visit her mother and four of her siblings.

“Every year I come here,” Joyce said during a visit in July. “There’s something about Whitehall; it’s in my soul. Life is so calming here.

“It takes me back to the ignorance and innocence of my youth.”

When she was 16 years old, Joyce won a Noxzema Cover Girl contest and appeared in a number of commercials. She later became a print model for the Eileen Ford Agency, appeared as Miss General Tire, and modeled in the Sears Catalog, among other assignments.

In the mid-1970s, Joyce moved to Hollywood to pursue a career in acting, landing several minor roles in “Starsky and Hutch,” “Deadly Force,” and “Lethal Weapon 4.”

But after she met Fetty, she decided to give up the limelight in favor of raising a family.

Fetty has been an actor, writer and producer in Hollywood for nearly 40 years. He has appeared in episodes of “CHiPs,” “Knots Landing,” and “Hawaii Five-O” and has been a producer and writer for a number of television shows. But the story of the Hatfields and McCoys is a tale he has always wanted to tell.

Fetty, who was born in West Virginia and had a close relationship with a descendant of the McCoy family, began working on the project nearly 30 years ago.

The three part mini-series, which aired on Memorial Day weekend and drew a record 13.9 million viewers, tells the story of William Anderson “Devil Anse” Hatfield and Randall McCoy, patriarchs of two Appalachian families who engaged in a brutal feud in the Tug Fork area of West Virginia and Kentucky after the Civil War. Kevin Costner and Bill Paxton played the lead roles in the series, which was shot in Romania over a six-month span.

“It’s so fascinating, this story,” Joyce said. “There’s a perception that they were hillbillies, but in fact, they were very affluent people and my husband wanted to honor that.”

Besides serving as a producer, Fetty appeared on screen as the character Doc Rutherford and the couple’s son, Tyler F. Jackson (his stage name), also appeared in the series as Bud McCoy, who is tied to a tree and executed by members of the Hatfield family, a scene Joyce witnessed during a 10-day trip to the set last September.

“It was so surreal, seeing your son getting shot over and over again. It was unbelievable,” she said.

Joyce said the entire experience has been remarkable and said she and her husband are excited about attending the awards ceremony.

“It’s going to be a real hoot to go (to the Emmy’s). I’m very excited and so proud of my husband.”

But Fetty, who has visited Whitehall on several occasions with his wife, prefers to give his wife the credit.

“Joyce is my hard-driving force and my sweet inspiration.  Through the years, she’s the one who insisted that I not give up on this project. None of this would’ve been possible without her,” he said.

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