‘The New Andy Griffith Show’ Actress Lee Meriwether Shut Down Rumors She Was Going To Marry Joe DiMaggio

by Samantha Whidden
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(Photo by Andrew Toth/Getty Images for DC)

Prior to having a pretty successful acting career, “The New Andy Griffith Show” star Lee Meriwether had to address a big rumor about her personal life. 

According to MeTV, columnist Walter Winchell reported in 1956 that the “The New Andy Griffith Show” actress was going to marry baseball star, Joe DiMaggio. This rumor surfaced not too long after DiMaggio divorced Hollywood legend, Marilyn Monroe. 

Winchell claimed that he accompanied DiMaggio and Meriwether on a tour of Atlantic City nightspots when he started to notice a connection between the actress and baseball player. “At the 500 Club, when their starry-eyed presence was noted and greeted with a public announcement that they would soon marry. Lee Ann gave a gasp and Joe looked down at the tablecloth. But they wouldn’t say a word in denial.”

However, the actress denied the rumors that she was engaged to DiMaggio. She also declared that the duo was only friends. “I am not getting married to DiMaggio,” Meriwether revealed to The Alternative Press. “And we are not engaged. I hope this story doesn’t spoil our friendship.”

Despite his infamous relationship with Monroe, DiMaggio never remarried. On his deathbed in 1999 his final words are reportedly, “I’ll finally get to see Marilyn.”

Who Did ‘The New Andy Griffith Show’ Actress Lee Meriwether Marry?

Years after putting the rumors to rest, Meriwether ended up marrying Frank Aletter, who she met in her acting classes. She had two children with Aletter, Kyle Aletter-Oldham and Lesley A. Aletter. Following her marriage, Meriwether became a real hit in Hollywood and even snagged the role as Catwoman in
“Batman.”

However, the couple struggled over the years and ended up divorcing. Meriwether stated during her interview with the Pacific Daily News in 1974. “We separated because we thought it was better for the children. We’re both mature adults. So there was no trauma involved in the separation. 

More than a decade after her divorce from Aletter, Lee Meriwether married Marshall Borden. Meanwhile, “The New Andy Griffith Show” actress’ ex-husband never remarried. 

Along with “Batman” and “The New Andy Griffith Show,” other roles that Lee Meriwether is known for are in “Mission: Impossible”; “The F.B.I.”; “Barnaby Jones”; “The Love Boat”; “The Munsters Today”; and “Murder, She Wrote.”

MeTV also reported what Andy Griffith said about his “The New Andy Griffith Show” castmate. “She’s a professional. Besides, she is pretty. And just about anyone who sees her just knows that she is a nice person.”

“The New Andy Griffith Show” is a 10-episode series. According to IMDb, the series follows Andy Sawyer as he learned that the mayor of his hometown is retiring from the position and was looking for an appointee to fill in for the rest of the term. “Thinking it sounds like a good deal, Andy packs up and moves back home to Greenwood with his wife and two children. To become the new mayor of the sleepy little southern town.”

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