Even though Andy Taylor, played by Andy Griffith, was known for being Mayberry’s most eligible bachelor, he had few love interests on the show. On “The Andy Griffth show,” he dated several women, but few of them turned into serious relationships.
During the first few seasons of the popular family sitcom, Taylor, seemingly struggled to find a serious girlfriend. You may remember that his first on-screen girlfriend, Ellie Walker. Elinor Donahue played the part and had signed a three-year contract with the show.
She revealed how she was cast on the show during a 2006 interview with the Archive of American Television.
“I was called in to the office to meet with the producers, went home that afternoon and found out I had the part. And I didn’t read or anything. I didn’t know that much about it except that I was going to be in the show with Andy Griffith,” Donahue said.
However, his on-screen romance came crashing down when she left the show after filming just 11 episodes.
He was privy to the fact that he struggled to have on-screen chemistry with his love interests. During an interview with Richard Kelly, the author of The Andy Griffith Show book, Griffith said that his “peculiar nature” made it difficult to include women in the script.
Andy Griffith Blames His ‘Pecuilar Nature’ for Lack of Success With Women
“We never knew how to write for women, Griffith confessed. “We never did know, and because of my peculiar nature, and my personal relationship with women, and the difficulty that I’ve always had with them – it became even more difficult for us to write for women.”
Dick Linke, Griffith’s manager, also chimed in on the topic. According to Linke, Griffith’s off-camera personality kept his character from sharing an on-screen kiss with an actress.
“Andy, you have to realize, is not really a ladies’ man,” Linke revealed. “He doesn’t know how to go chasing the ladies. If you’ll notice, he rarely kissed anybody in the series, and only rarely did he hold Helen Crump. He never did a real kiss,” Linke stated, later adding: “He is that way in real life.”
Despite his struggles to give Opie Taylor a mother-figure, he did find success with one actress. Fans met Taylor’s future-bride-to-be, Helen Crump, in the third-season in the episode titled “Andy Discovers America.” Aneta Corsaut played her character.
After working closely together, Griffith even developed off-screen romantic feelings for Corsaut.
Griffith wanted to marry Corsaut. However, Griffith was already a married man, according to Daniel de Visé, author of Andy and Don: The Making of a Friendship and a Classic American TV Show. “Andy couldn’t get enough of Aneta,” the author wrote in his 2015 biography.
“Eventually, he proposed, even though he was already married. He popped the question at least once and possibly two or three times, as Aneta hinted in later years. She turned him down.”