‘The Andy Griffith Show’: Here’s What Happened to Opie’s Mother

by Evan Reier

50 years and counting from the end of The Andy Griffith Show, the program is still a treasured classic. With a large following and a timeless story, it only makes sense.

Besides being a smash-hit, the program is thought to be one of the most influential shows in history. Watching Andy Taylor and his adventures around Mayberry is something that just hasn’t gotten stale. Further, one can see the program’s influence in television today.

A key relationship in the legendary show is obviously between Andy Taylor and his son, Opie. Like Taylor, Opie has his own adventures and developments. Unlike his father, Opie is typically causing trouble by just being the eager child he is.

The two, played by Andy Griffith and Ron Howard respectively, develop an iconic father-son relationship over the show’s eight seasons. However, there has always been a notable missing link in the show: the fate of Opie’s mother.

It’s a very rarely mentioned aspect of the characters, with the program bringing it up hardly ever except for memorable moments like in the episode, “Wedding Bells for Aunt Bee.”

The Andy Griffith Show Talks About Opie’s Mother

During the episode, Andy Taylor calls back upon his memories of Opie’s mother. As Aunt Bee prepares for her own wedding, Andy explains to Opie that he loved his mother very much.

It’s a very short moment, with the two moving on. In fact, the episode carries onward with no further details. However, one clue exists in the show’s predecessor.

The Danny Thomas Show had a “back-door” pilot of sorts in an episode titled “Danny Thomas Meets Andy Griffith.”

The episode premiered about half a year before the spinoff hit the scene.

In the program, Taylor says that Opie’s mother died when he was very, very young. However, like in The Andy Griffith Show, it’s a brief discussion that never goes further.