Howard Sprague, the Mayberry county clerk, was played by Jack Dodson (1931-1994), and introduced in season six.
Howard lived with his overbearing and clinging widowed mother, played by Mabel Albertson. (Mabel was the sister of Jack Albertson, of "Chico and the Man" fame. Jack also made a guest appearance on TAGS in the eighth season episode, "Aunt Bee's Cousin".)
Howard's mother tried to thwart any effort on his part to have a social life, on one occasion feigning illness and disrupting a double date with Andy. She also sought to have Howard blackballed from the Regal Order of the Golden Door to Good Fellowship, a local lodge. Eventually, she remarried and moved to Mt. Pilot, giving Howard a chance to assert his independence. He redid his house in a ludicrous attempt to be a mod and hip bachelor, hanging beaded curtains, buying abstract art, and littering his living room floor with throw pillows. His housewarming party was a crashing bore.
In season eight, Howard was given a love interest in Millie Hutchins, an employee at the local bakery. They were briefly engaged, breaking off the wedding when they realized that they were both too set in their ways.
Howard was a man of many talents: a member of the local barbershop quartet, a championship bowler, a successful and short-lived stand-up comedian, a volunteer Big Brother and the only person to land Ol' Sam, the legendary bass that lived in a local lake. He briefly moved to the island of St. Benedict in the South Seas in an attempt to become a beachcomber before returning to Mayberry, older and wiser.
Along with many of the other cast members from season eight, Howard made a smooth transition to life after Andy, with the spin-off series "Mayberry R.F.D."
- Jack Dodson was the brother-in-law of well-known character actor Fritz Weaver.
- Jack reprised the role of Howard on "It's Garry Shandling's Show" in the 1990 episode, 'The Day Howard Moved In'.
Jack Dodson's filmography can be found at IMDB.com http://www.imdb.com/name/nm0230284/