‘The Andy Griffith Show’: Ron Howard Revealed His Parents Took Home Videos on Set of Show

by Joe Rutland

The parents of “The Andy Griffith Show” star Ron Howard wanted to have a record of his time on the show, so they took home videos.

“They both would bring the camera in once in a while and those are precious, precious home movies to me,” Howard told his costar, Andy Griffith, during “The Andy Griffith Show Reunion” in 1993.

Some clips from the Howards’ home movies are shown. Howard said, “See I just loved going on location because that whole place was like a playground. Most of the time we filmed on a stage. The days we got to go out was something to always look forward to (on the show).”

‘The Andy Griffith Show’ Star Calls Time On Set ‘Like Living In A Small Town’

Howard mentions other sets from TV and movies near where “The Andy Griffith Show” was filmed. “The Real McCoys,” which starred veteran actor Walter Brennan, and “Gone With The Wind,” which starred Clark Gable and Vivian Leigh, were filmed near the “Griffith” set.

“It was really like living in a small town and having the run of it,” he told Griffith. The home movies also feature “The Andy Griffith Show” stars Don Knotts, Jim Nabors, and Frances Bavier.

After his time roaming around Mayberry was over, Howard would move forward in both his acting and directing careers. He starred in another hit TV series, ABC’s “Happy Days,” while directing pictures like “Night Shift,” “Splash,” “Willow,” and “Cocoon.”

Howard is the lone original cast member from “The Andy Griffith Show” still alive. Griffith and the remaining cast members have all died.

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In the same show, Howard talks about Bavier, who played Aunt Bee on “The Andy Griffith Show” as well as its spinoff, “Mayberry R.F.D.”

“When I think of her, I actually think about nurturing and I think about food,” he said. “Of course, Frances didn’t do the cooking. Reggie Smith, our prop guy, made it right over here in the prop room. But a lot of problems can be solved with a piece of pie or a piece of fried chicken.”

Others, though, would not use the word “nurturing” in the same sentence with Bavier.

Director Howard Morris, who also played Ernest T. Bass on “The Andy Griffith Show,” really didn’t like working with her. In an article on Closer Weekly, Morris told historian Geoffrey Mark that directing her was “like stepping on a landmine. If you would ask her to move three inches to the right to get in the proper frame, she’d blow a fuse and refuse.”

Bavier died in December 1989 at 86 years old.