‘The Andy Griffith Show’: Who Was the Taylors’ First Housekeeper Before Aunt Bee?

by Joe Rutland
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Andy and Opie Taylor always had a housekeeper around their home on “The Andy Griffith Show.” But there was someone before Aunt Bee.

Who was this person? According to “The Andy Griffith Show” Wiki, Rose Pine took care of the Taylor home. She was there until her marriage to Wilbur Pine in the Mayberry courthouse. Opie, played by Ron Howard, wasn’t fond of this happening and tried hitting old Wilbur with a box of rice. He was hoping it would keep Rose from leaving.

No dice, Opie. Rose and Wilbur put Mayberry in their rear-view mirror, opening the way for Aunt Bee to come into “The Andy Griffith Show.” Actress Frances Bavier, obviously, would play that role on that show and even into “Mayberry R.F.D.”

‘The Andy Griffith Show’ Finds Itself In Need Of A New Housekeeper

This action all went down in the show’s first episode titled “The New Housekeeper.” Bavier makes her entrance to the Taylor family and reassures Opie that she’ll be there to take care of him and his father.

“The Andy Griffith Show” would run on CBS for eight seasons. “Mayberry R.F.D.” would take over the Griffith show’s spot in the CBS lineup, but last just three seasons. Bavier continued to play Aunt Bee throughout the follow-up show’s run.

In this closing scene from that first episode, Aunt Bee is about to have Andy take her to the bus station. Opie sees what’s going on below his window and, well, take a couple of minutes to watch this moment from “The Andy Griffith Show.”

In real life, Bavier and Griffith reportedly did not get along. She ended up living as a recluse, leaving show business, and retiring to Siler City, N.C. Bavier died there on Dec. 6, 1989, at 86 years old.

Griffith would take his Andy Taylor character in a much different way after the show’s first season. He’s pretty much talking and acting similarly to how Griffith performed his stand-up material. Griffith changed his manner of talking and even acting with his co-stars from the second season onward.

Ernest T. Bass Actor Howard Morris Spoke Highly Of His Co-Stars

Speaking of co-stars, “The Andy Griffith Show” definitely had its share of unique characters. None, though, may have been as unique as Ernest T. Bass.

Actor-comedian Howard Morris, who brought a wealth of knowledge regarding television comedy into his role, spoke glowingly of them in an interview with the Archive of American Television.

“Fine, they were lovely actors,” Morris said. “I didn’t have to teach anybody how to act. They were all there, totally efficient and proficient. And sufficient.”

Morris directed eight episodes during the 1963-64 season of “The Andy Griffith Show.” He appeared as Ernest T. Bass in six episodes between 1963-65. When he did show up, Morris made sure to make them memorable.

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