Opie is a 6-year-old when the series opens, who lives in the fictional and idealized small, sleepy southern community of Mayberry, North Carolina, with his widowed father, Andy Taylor (Andy Griffith), the sheriff of Mayberry County, and his father’s spinster aunt, Beatrice “Aunt Bee” Taylor.
Opie’s mom is mentioned only one time during the entire series. In an episode titled “Wedding Bells for Aunt Bee,” Andy becomes nostalgic and he tells Opie how much he had loved the boy’s mother. Viewers never hear anymore about her or even see a photograph. However, in an episode of ‘The Danny Thomas Show’ (which spawned The Andy Griffith Show), Andy relates that she died when Opie was just “the least little speck of a baby.”
Knotts Asked For Part Ownership Of The Show And Griffith Declined
When Griffith came aboard for a sixth season, Knotts agreed to do the same — But of course, there was more to the story.
Andy revealed to Don’s manager decades later, after Don’s death, that in a private meear changed his delivery of dialogue for Floyd from fast-paced to slower and slower as time went on. Floyd also became meting midway through season five, Don told Andy he would return to the sitcom — but only if he could have an ownership stake in the production. Andy and his manager owned more than half of the Griffith Show, while Don owned none of it; he was just a salaried employee. As much as Andy loved working with Don, he denied his friend’s request and Don did not return to the show.
Griffith And Knotts Were Opposite Of Their Characters In Real Life
Griffith and Knotts were real-life country boys who had made it to fame as humorists in the 1950s, doing stand-up comedy and eventually working together in the Broadway hit “No Time for Sergeants.” On The Andy Griffith Show, they became a comedy duo for the ages, playing off each other with perfect timing in a series of running gags built on Knotts’s celebrated neuroses, with Griffith as his foil. Andy Griffith was known to be more reserved compared to Barney, who was a goofball half the time (or more).
However, Griffith and Knotts’ off-screen personalities were very different from what people saw on the show. Knotts was actually a pretty serious guy — hard to imagine, right?
Griffith Had Other Work Besides The Show
Andy Griffith was a man of many talents. He was not only an actor, but also a comedian, television producer, southern gospel singer, and writer, whose career spanned seven decades. Although he’s mostly remembered for “The Andy Griffith Show”, he also had a very successful career on Broadway, where he won a Tony Award.
Griffith also played the main character on another television show, ‘Matlock’. Griffith also made other character appearances throughout the years on Playhouse 90 , Gomer Pyle, U.S.M.C. , The Mod Squad , Hawaii Five-O , The Doris Day Show, Here's Lucy, The Bionic Woman and Fantasy Island , among many others. He also reprised his role as Ben Matlock on Diagnosis: Murder in 1997, and his final guest-starring role was in 2001 in an episode of Dawson's Creek. Andy Griffith passed away in 2012 at the age of 86.
Where Are They Now?
While many of the cast members from The Andy Griffith Show are unfortunately no longer with us, let’s take a look at what the main actors did once the show ended its legendary run. We will be walking you through some amazing highlights from the legendary careers of Ron Howard, Frances Bavier, Jim Nabors, Aneta, Hal Smith, George Lindsey and of course, Don Knotts.
But no other cast member’s post-series life will impress you as much as this next person…