For famed U.S. actor Michael Learned, a return to southwestern Ontario is something she always relishes.

A chance to advance women’s health is a bonus.

Learned, best known for her role as Olivia Walton on the long-running CBS drama The Waltons, will reprise her role in Driving Miss Daisy this month at Victoria Playhouse in Petrolia.

Seven years ago she played the title role at VPP and returns for a run from Tuesday to July 24.

A special performance on July 14 will raise funds for the Women’s Care Program at the London Health Sciences Centre.

“I’m so happy to be at the Victoria Playhouse in Petrolia. It’s a lovely theatre,” Learned says during an interview Monday at London’s Idlewyld Inn.

She’s also pleased to be able to fundraise for women’s health.

“I understand about women’s health on every level. I’m very fortunate to have good health. We’re very happy to do an extra show and hopefully we can raise some money for the hospital.“

Learned says she loves to perform in Driving Miss Daisy because of its message that friendship and love will endure, as seen in the relationship between Miss Daisy and Hoke.

“Through (Hoke’s) love of her and his dignity and self-love, it opens up her whole world,” Learned says.

She also loved her role in The Waltons and continues to benefit from it.

“I gained a second family who are still my family as far as I’m concerned...I just feel enormously grateful to have been part of it.”

While at Victoria Playhouse, Learned will also perform in a one-woman show with a working title of Conversations with Miss Michael, from July 27-29.

There will be three performances of that show.

“Basically it’s talking about work that I’ve done and my life and sharing it with an audience. There will be questions from the audience with clips, photographs,” she says.

“What I hope people will walk away from it with is, you can go through very dark times in your life. There is light. I have the best life you can imagine. I couldn’t have imagined such a good life at certain times.”

She hopes people will also know that they are not alone and will receive some support and inspiration from both shows.

For more information on the shows and the July 14 fundraiser, which will include bus transportation from London, click on the link in this story.