‘The Andy Griffith Show’: Will Wright Played Not Just One, But Two Angry Old Men in Show

by Anna Dunn

Actor Will Wright played two angry old men on The Andy Griffith Show. Wright was known for his frequent appearances on various westerns and other television series. He often played the “grumpy man role” and that typecasting was no exception on The Andy Griffith Show.

He first appeared on the show in Danny Meets Andy Griffith, which appeared on The Danny Thomas Show and wasn’t quite set in Mayberry. In the odd pilot, Wright plays grumpy store owner Mr. Johnson who has the audacity to charge a woman 50 cents a day for a suit her husband was buried in. The woman, Henrietta Perkins, was actually played by Francis Bavier who later played Aunt Bea.

He’s better known for his other work on The Andy Griffith Show. The actor had multiple appearances as Ben Weaver, the incredibly grumpy and downright mean landlord and department store owner. He played Ben Weaver up until his death. Following his death in 1962, he was replaced by Tol Avery then Jason Johnson.

According to his IMDB page, Wright died of cancer at age 68.

Another Actor Who Was on ‘The Andy Griffith Show’ Has Never Been Identified

Will Wright is incredibly recognizable on The Andy Griffith Show. He is one of the many guests they had on over the years. But there’s one actor, however, whose never actually been identified. Nobody knows who the actor who played Mr. Schwamp is.

Making the whole thing more mysterious is the fact that over the course of the show, Mr Schwamp never speaks. The characters repeatedly address him by name, but he remains silent. It’s rumored that Schwamp was a friend of Andy Griffith’s who was originally given a speaking part but froze up on stage and opted to stay silent. When asked about the actor in future interviews, nobody could remember who played him.

Schwamp was in 26 episodes of The Andy Griffith Show and even appeared in the spinoff, Gomer Pyle, U.S.M.C. It’s an incredibly odd mystery that’s remained unsolved to this day, and he was truly a stranger hiding right in plain sight. Nobody knows why the man’s identity is a secret or how he pulled it off, but it’s become so known that fans even tried to pull an April Fools prank online in 2012, claiming that they found who he was.

The elaborate fan even saw someone making a fake Ancestry.com background for the man, but of course, it wasn’t his real identity and we still don’t know who he is.

Over the years, The Andy Griffith Show had its fair share of talented and interesting guest stars. From Will Wright, who lovingly played the “grumpy old man” parts, to the unnamed actor, the show’s guests truly were one of a kind.