Fans of classic TV mostly remember George Lindsey for his role as Goober Pyle on the beloved TV series, “The Andy Griffith Show.” Even after his tenure on the beloved show ended, he continued to act and even landed on another classic TV comedy of the ’70s: “M*A*S*H.”
Before he passed away in 2012, Lindsey opened up about going from Mayberry to the South Korean army hospital. In his memoir, Linsey described his “M*A*S*H” experience and how some of his co-stars weren’t that warm to the “Andy Griffith” alum.
Lindsey appears in a 1978 episode called “Temporary Duty.” According to Lindsey, he loved the role so much that he became a permanent member of the show’s cast. However, his first day was one he would never forget— and not for a good reason.
“My first day on the set, some of the stars didn’t speak to me, which is not rare in Hollywood,” he revealed in his memoir. “I had worked before with Jamie Farr and Harry Morgan. Jamie had done a ‘Griffith’ episode (“The Gypsies”) and I had appeared with Harry in a movie for Disney called ‘Snowball Express,’ so I knew them and they were friendly.”
Although his first day on set was not ideal, Lindsey adds that the cast eventually warmed up to him.
Andy Griffith Alum Opens Up About His ‘M*A*S*H’ Experience
“Anyway, after the ‘M*A*S*H’ corps realized that I could act as well as they could, then the other regular cast members began to talk with me when we were off camera — everybody except the guys in the tent, Mike Farrell and David Ogden Stiers. (Alan Alda was not in the episode).”
Although he had hoped to land a permanent gig on the series, that sadly never happened. However, he continued to act regularly until the late ’80s. He later came back to acting when he starred in When I Find the Ocean in 2006. He passed away in 2012 of heart failure.
Lindsey’s fellow castmate from “The Andy Griffith Show,” Ron Howard, also had his own “M*A*S*H” experience. He appeared in the 1973 episode called “Sometimes You Hear the Bullet.” In the episode, the Opie actor played a Marine who comes down with appendicitis. His character desperately wants to get back to the frontlines.
However, the famed director had a much different experience on the set compared to George Lindsey.
During an interview, he described his experience: “The M*A*S*H episode was really fun because I was treated as a TV vet on the show,” he said. “I was going to college at that time. [I] was made to feel so welcomed doing that episode. Alan Alda was cool. Wayne Rogers, I spent a lot of time talking to him. You know, I just had a great feeling.”