‘The Andy Griffith Show’: Why Jack Prince Turned Down a Permanent Role on the Series

by Katie Maloney

Professional singer and occasional actor, Jack Prince turned down a permanent role on “The Andy Griffith Show.” Here’s why.

John Trevathan Upchurch Jr., known to fans by his stage name, Jack Prince, was an extremely talented singer. In fact, he first met Andy Griffith while the two were performing on Broadway together. The duo became fast friends before parting ways – Jack to pursue singing and Andy to pursue television acting. During an interview with The Bullet, Prince once talked about his friendship with Andy Griffith.

The article states, “During that time that they were together on Broadway. Jack and Andy became fast friends. Sharing many of the same likes and dislikes. And both appreciative of the other’s comedic and musical styles.”

Jack even said that Andy taught him to like black coffee.

“I used to stop by Andy’s dressing room. He’d invite me to join him for coffee. But he didn’t have any cream or sugar. The first time I said I’d go get some from my dressing room. But Andy said not any coffee like that would be drunk in his dressing room,” said Prince. “So I learned to like my coffee black just like Andy Griffith.”

A few years after Prince and Griffith parted ways, Prince continued to star in Broadway while Griffith landed his new television show, “The Andy Griffith Show.” Griffith invited Prince to appear on the show. And Prince ended up appearing in Mayberry six times. He played a town moonshiner a few times. He even got to sing with Andy Griffith during one episode.

Jack Prince in “The Andy Griffith Show”

Jack Prince Turned Down A Permanent Role On ‘The Andy Griffith Show’

During the same interview, Prince talked about his connection with “The Andy Griffith Show” director, “Bob Sweeney.

“Bob spoiled me. We had a great rapport,” said Prince. “I could read his face and he could read mine. I could never work with a director that I had that much affection for again.”

After his appearances on the show, the producers of “The Andy Griffith Show” approached Prince with an offer most people would have given anything for. They offered him a permanent role on the show. But he turned it down.

“Naw fellas, I’m a singer. When I can’t sing anymore, I’ll see about acting,” said Prince.

Nevertheless, Prince said he was grateful for the time he spent with “The Andy Griffith Show.”

“The ambiance on that show was so great. Such pride in what they were doing,” said Prince. “Everybody in the whole crew from the writers right down to the lighting men was proud of the work. And I’m proud to have even been a small part of it.”