‘The Andy Griffith Show’: One Actor Played an Old Man on Screen Since His 20s

by Michael Freeman

The Andy Griffith Show had its share of elderly characters and stars on its set. While most of these characters had actors around their own age portraying them, one had been acting in the “old man” part since his 20s.

Andy Clyde played Frank Myers in the episode “Mayberry Goes Bankrupt.” In it, he portrays the poorest man in Mayberry. The town council there wants to evict him for failing to pay his taxes. However, the joke is on them as his uncashed municipal bond amounts to more than the town can pay. This wasn’t the first time Clyde played an older gentleman on a show and it was far from the last.

MeTV reports Clyde made his living playing elderly characters for more than four decades. In fact, he honed his “old man” archetype playing a character in a 1920s film when he was only in his 20s. First coming into the acting scene with Mack Sennett, he appeared alongside notable silent stars like Charlie Chaplin, Harold Lloyd, and more. He actually ended up marrying one of the Bathing Beauties there, Elsie Maud Tarron.

On Sennett’s comedies, Andy Clyde frequently wore a gray wig and mustache to depict older men. He donned this kind of attire so much he essentially became the role. He continued playing older men until he was so old himself he no longer needed his props. His appearance on The Andy Griffith Show was near the tail-end of his career, but his final role was Cully Wilson. Lassie fans likely realize the name, as he was Timmy’s friend on the show.

To this day, his bushy, distinct mustache makes him stand out. If you watch older shows, chances are you’ve seen him and didn’t even know it.

One Star Quit Acting After Her Appearance on ‘The Andy Griffith Show’

Like Andy Clyde, there were quite a few actors appearing on The Andy Griffith Show for a single episode. Unlike him though, one completely quit acting shortly after her role there.

Beverly Tyler was an actress many assumed had a huge career ahead of her. Going into a talent agency on a dare while visiting New York, talent scouts were floored by her voice. Taking her to Hollywood and training her to act, sing, and dance, she was supposed to be a secret weapon of sorts.

She was so serious about her craft she neglected romantic relationships to advance her career. Narrowly missing leads in upcoming movies, she landed other television roles. Ironically, her part on The Andy Griffith Show in “Barney on the Rebound” had her obsessed with Barney. Even more crazy is after that part, she unintentionally found her future husband, Jim Jordan Jr. Upon marrying him, she promptly stopped acting altogether to focus on her family.