Ellie / Elinor Donahue

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FAQ: Ellie / Elinor Donahue

Does anyone know why the character of Ellie Walker was removed from the show after only a few episodes?

Elinor Donahue appeared in 12 episodes, all during the first season. At the end of the first season, she decided not to return, as she didn't feel comfortable working with Andy. It wasn't anything personal against him, she just didn't feel that they made a very good "TV couple."

Andy Griffith later admitted that it was his own fault that most of his early TV girlfriends didn't work out. He said he had a hard time showing affection on screen, and as a result, the relationships didn't appear "real" or believable. After Ellie, three other girlfriends came and went before they finally got it right and cast Aneta Corsaut as Helen Crump. BTW, the character of Miss Crump was supposed to be a one-shot (that's why they didn't try to pick a pleasant-sounding name), but the producers were so impressed with Miss Corsaut's performance and her rapport with Andy that they made her a regular cast member. -Paul Mulik

If you'd like to hear it in her own words as to why she left PLUS a good bit more about her experiences on the show, drop by the Two Chairs No Waiting 11: Elinor Donahue episode and listen to the interview with her from back in 1998.