In 1998, Andy Griffith said that Frances had called him shortly before her death and apologized for “being ‘difficult’ during the series’ run”.
Sadly, she died at age 86, just 8 days before her 87th birthday.
Caught in the Act
Remember the fact that the cast and crew of The Andy Griffith Show loved pranking each other? Well, one of the crew members decided to pull a big prank on Andy Griffith at his hotel. The crew member dressed as a waiter in order to get into Andy’s hotel room to surprise him.
The crew member switched Andy’s dinner with a prop from the show, and thought that the actor wouldn’t even see a difference in the food and try to eat the prop. Shockingly, when the crew member walked into the room, he caught Griffith and Aneta in a compromising situation. Talk about backfire!
Little Ronny Howard went on to star in the high profile show ‘Happy Days’ Howard continued making films during this time, appearing in the western film The Shootist (1976), and the comedy film Grand Theft Auto (1977), which he also directed.
In 1980, Howard left Happy Days to focus solely on directing. His films include the science-fiction/fantasy film Cocoon (1985), the historical docudrama Apollo 13 (1995) (earning him the Directors Guild of America award for Outstanding Directorial Achievement in Motion Pictures), the biographical drama A Beautiful Mind (2001) (earning him the Academy Award for Best Director and Academy Award for Best Picture ), the thriller The Da Vinci Code (2006), the historical drama Frost/Nixon (2008) (nominated for Best Director and Best Picture Academy Awards) and Solo: A Star Wars Story (2018). Howard has received many awards and honors. He even had an asteroid named after him, Asteroid 12561 Howard !
Aneta Corsaut had a continuing role as policeman Bumper Morgan's pawn-shop-owner friend on the series The Blue Knight and as Irma Howell in the short-lived series Mrs. G. Goes to College . In the TV series Adam-12 , Corsaut portrayed Officer Pete Malloy's girlfriend, Judy. She had a supporting role as Head Nurse Bradley in the 1980s sitcom House Calls , and also appeared in several episodes of Matlock with star Andy Griffith . In addition, Corsaut played the role of nurse Jesse Brewer in 1977 on the long-running ABC soap opera General Hospital when long-time portrayer Emily McLaughlin was too ill to work.
Aneta returned for two reunion shows, 1986’s Return to Mayberry and 1993’s The Andy Griffith Show Reunion. She also made appearances on many other TV shows. Aneta died in 1995 and is buried in Hollywood.
Friends Until the End
Andy Griffith visited Don in the hospital right before his death. Andy later recalled his final words to his dear friend: “I know that he could hear me, and we all believe that he could hear my voice,” said Andy. “I told him that I loved him, and I told him…I said ‘Jess [Don’s real first name], breathe. You’ve gotta make this, you’ve gotta pull through. Breathe.’ And you know, I saw his chest heave, and I said ‘That’s a boy. Keep breathing. Just keep breathing.’ And his shoulder moved, so I believe he heard my voice.”
Knotts died at age 81 on February 24, 2006, at the Cedars-Sinai Medical Center in Los Angeles, California from pulmonary and respiratory complications of pneumonia related to lung cancer . He had been undergoing treatment at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center in the months before his death, but he returned home after he had reportedly been feeling better. His body was buried at Westwood Memorial Park in Los Angeles.