‘The Andy Griffith Show’: Peggy Actor Joanna Moore’s Quote About Life on Set Sounds Like a Real-Life Mayberry

by Joe Rutland
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Actor Joanna Moore had a memorable turn as Andy’s girlfriend on “The Andy Griffith Show.” She also had lots of respect for the show itself.

Moore appeared as Peggy McMillan in the 1962-63 season. But she reflected on being a part of the Mayberry life on the show’s set.

“I liked the Griffith show better than anything else I’ve ever done,” Moore said in a 1962 interview with the Akron Beacon Journal. “Everyone on the program is so nice. The show is well organized and there is no rush. The people discuss their problems openly and the difficulties just seem to disappear. I was shocked by the honesty on that show, but it was a refreshing kind of honesty.”

Besides her turn on “The Andy Griffith Show,” Moore also made appearances on “Perry Mason,” “The Fugitive,” “Bewitched,” and “Gunsmoke.”

Moore also was married to actor Ryan O’Neal from 1963-67. She had two children, Griffin and Tatum, from her marriage.

Sadly, Moore made her final on-screen appearance in 1986. Her career pretty much slowed down because of her drug and alcohol use. Joanna Moore died on Nov. 22, 1997, from lung cancer at 63 years old.

“The Andy Griffith Show” featured a number of love interests for Sheriff Andy Taylor. Besides Moore, actresses Elinor Donohue played Ellie, a pharmacist, and Aneta Corsaut played Helen Crump, a teacher. Donohue only appeared in a number of episodes while Corsaut was on from 1963-68.

As an aside, Corsaut also appeared in Griffith’s legal show, “Matlock,” as a judge in 1991-92.

Sitcom’s Main Star Only Had One Difference Of Opinion With Showrunner

When looking back on different characters who had roles on “The Andy Griffith Show,” then you’ll remember there was a town leader in Mayberry.

No, we’re not talking about Andy or even Deputy Barney Fife, played by Don Knotts. Griffith would say the difference of opinion with showrunner Sheldon Leonard was over this character.

“The only fight Sheldon and I ever had in my whole acquaintanceship with him was over a story idea,” Griffith said in an interview with the Television Academy Foundation in 1999. “He wanted to introduce a character that I knew wasn’t going to work. And it didn’t.”

Who was it? A mayor in Mayberry.

“They wanted me to have a boss figure,” Griffith said. “That’s a good idea for the lead to have a boss figure. Like Lucy’s boss figure was her husband. They wanted to introduce a mayor as the boss figure.”

Griffith’s reference was of Lucy Ricardo, Lucille Ball’s character on “I Love Lucy.” Her husband on the show was her then-real-life husband, Desi Arnaz. He, of course, played Ricky Ricardo.

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