Characters / Support Roles

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FAQ: Characters / Support Roles

Count Istvan Teleky

You may want to let folks asking about the spelling of Count Istvan Teleky that this is the correct spelling. (Goobers Beck and Clark had a different spelling in the early editions of The Andy Griffith Show Book, but later found the correct spelling in a copy of the episode's script. Istvan is the Hungarian equivalent of Stephen.) The corrected spelling of the Count's name is in the 35th Anniversary edition of the book, along with other corrections discovered through the years. The research continues. --Jim Clark(Presiding Goober of TAGSRWC)

Who played the old thin white haired gentleman who sung for Barney he was behind the curtain while Barney thought he was singing.

The character's name was Glenn Cripe, and he was played by actor Delos Jewkes. He appeared in several episodes, but he was never given screen credit. He always appeared in a group, such as the choir or the church congregation. --Paul Mulik

Was there ever more than one person that played Asa?

Asa was played by only one actor, Charles Thompson. Asa's name changed from Breeney to Bascomb at times and Charles Thompson played another character on the show, Dr. Roberts (#214 "Goodbye Dolly" and #233 "Suppose Andy Gets Sick").

I saw the movie "TITANIC" and thought I saw Malcolm Merriweather. Which character did he play?

He played Colonel Archibald Gracie. BTW, Bernard Fox also appeared in "A Night to Remember," another good film about the Titanic disaster, made (I think) in 1954. --Paul Mulik

Why do the outfits worn by the two "G-men" on the episode "A Black Day for Mayberry" change?

This one is for those of you that don't get . Rance Howard told me about this blooper in the episode "A Black Day For Mayberry." It seems that originally there were two other actors that were cast as the U.S. Treasury agents. During the filming one of them stood up and said, "I apologize if I have offended anyone" and at that point collapsed into a seizure. It was then that Rance was asked to fill in, but the suit for the part didn't fit Mr. Howard, so that's when they put him in one of Andy's suits. Rance said that the reason that they didn't edit the other gentleman out had something to do with a contractual agreement. That's why you see two different men, wearing different clothes, playing the same part in the same scene. - Mike Creech

In the episode about Frank Myers and his $100 savings bond the credits show a production assistant also named Frank Myers. Is that where the name came from?

Yes, the character of Frank Myers was named for crew member Frank E. Myers. The TAGS crew joked that actor Andy Clyde (who played the part) looked just like the real Frank Myers. When that episode (Mayberry Goes Bankrupt) was finished, Frank Myers the crew member kept the prop mailbox with "his" name on it. Myers' Lake (actually California's Franklin Canyon Reservoir) was named after Frank Myers as well, since it was his idea to film at that location. Frank also had two sons who served the studio in various capacities. Tom Myers appeared as an extra in several episodes of Gomer Pyle - USMC, and Charles Myers served as assistant director on that series. Charles also appeared a marine recruit in the Gomer pilot episode. --Paul Mulik

Wasn't there more than one Wally?

There were not one, not two, not three, but FOUR different Wallys throughout the run of the series, as follows: Norman Leavitt appears as Wally in "Lawman Barney" and "Man in a Hurry." Leavitt had previously appeared as Cal in episode 2 "The Manhunt," as Gil in "Andy the Marriage Counselor" and as the coffee shop owner in "Barney Gets His Man." Wally was played by Trevor Bardette in "Gomer the House Guest." Cliff Norton assumed the role in "Goober's Replacement." ...and finally, Blackie Hunt plays Wally in "The Barbershop Quartet." However, it's not clear if the Wally we see in "The Barbershop Quartet" was supposed to be the Wally from the filling station, or just some other guy named Wally. -Paul Mulik

There's a man that's on a bunch of episodes in crowds wearing a white hat but they never tell his name. Who is he?

If you spotted him in any of the following:

  1. He slammed his front door in Opie's face when Opie tried to sell him Miracle Salve.
  2. He was the bull dozer operator in the episode of Mr. Frisbee's still, with the drunk rooster.
  3. He was the grocer painting his window "Hollywood style" when the Hollywood producer came to make a movie, and the whole town acted start struck.
  4. The one line that I can remember him uttering was: "How'd he do it, sheriff?" When a crowd was standing outside the courthouse watching Goober take the car apart.

For years folks were talking about a character actor that appears on The Andy Griffith Show and everyone thought his name was Johnny Coons. Turns out his name wasn't Johnny Coons but instead it was Tom Jacobs, brother of Danny Thomas. So....who was Johnny Coonz? Check here to see both Johnny and Tom and find out more.

There were several references to Mrs. Clara Edwards (she was the pickle champion, so we know she was married) but not many to Miss Flora Edwards...Anybody know the story, or is there one?

The character of "Clara," portrayed by actress Hope Summers, first appears in the first season episode "Andy and Opie, Housekeepers." However, in that episode she is called Bertha Edwards. She is also called Bertha a few episodes later in "Andy Forecloses" (in a scene that was later cut out, Aunt Bee tries to sell Bertha her own toaster at the rummage sale.) Beginning with the second season, the character came to be known as Clara. In "The Pickle Story," she refers to her late husband as Mr. Johnson, therefore we know that Johnson is her married name. Before too much longer, though, she came to be known as Clara Edwards. Obviously, some time after her husband's passing, she went back to using her maiden name. The never-seen Flora Edwards mentioned in "Andy's English Valet" was probably not supposed to be the same person as Clara. Perhaps she was supposed to be Clara's sister, or maybe they were not related at all. --Paul Mulik

In the episode where the English tourist, Malcom, stays with Andy to pay off his fine, whose car does he use to drive Andy to the courthouse?

At the beginning of the episode (#89, Andy's English Valet), Aunt Bee says that the car belongs to Miss Edwards. She wants Andy to drive it while she is out of town so that the battery will stay charged. Later, when Barney stops by at suppertime, Andy refers to the vehicle as "Flora's old car" --therefore, the car belongs to Miss Flora Edwards. --Paul Mulik

What was Mayor Pike's first name?

Mayor Pike's first name was never given. The character was based on an old feller named Floyd Pike that Andy had known in Mt. Airy. Perhaps the writers intended that Mayor Pike's first name was to be Floyd, but no first name was ever used "on the air.

How many different actors played the part of Ben Weaver?

Ben Weaver was played by THREE different actors. Ben was played first by Will Wright in three episodes (11, 28 and 54), then Tol Avery assumed the role in "The Shoplifters," and finally Jason Johnson played Ben in one or two color episodes.

One of the girls who gathered in Andy's house to meet Thelma and raised the question "What did we turn out for?" sounds like Judy Jetson. Was it the lady who did Judy's voice on "The Jetson's" cartoon?

You're right! Actress Janet Waldo, who appeared as Thelma Lou's friend in that episode, was also the voice of Judy Jetson.

The guy who sold Andy the "canning jars" for Aunt Bee also playeed Mr. Simms and the guy who Andy sentenced to either "$10 or 10 days in jail...You got chickens to throw, you got chickens to sell." Who was the actor?

That was actor Dabbs Greer, a feller who was born right near where I live in the Ozarks. He's best known for playing the preacher on "Little House on the Prairie." He recently appeared in the action film "Con Air," as the man hiding underneath the truck in the junkyard while Nicolas Cage was searching for a hypodermic syringe for his diabetic friend. Besides the three roles mentioned above, he appeared one other time on TAGS, as Councilman Dobbs of Greendale in episode 44, "Sheriff Barney." He also appeared on Gomer Pyle -- USMC, as a down-on-his-luck father who brings his family out West in search of a better life. The interesting thing about his appearance in that episode was that his character was from North Carolina (very near Mayberry), and the Ford truck he drove was the same one that Briscoe Darling drove on TAGS (maybe Briscoe sold his truck to this guy?) Near the end of the episode, Gomer blows up the truck with a bazooka! --Paul Mulik

Does anyone know who the actor that played Mr. Schwamp (Mr. Schwump)? How's his name spelled?

Thus far we have been unable to find out who it was that played Mr. Schwamp.

Yes, we've asked Andy, Don, George, and just about every member of the cast and crew we can think of. None of them know his "real" name. They all remember him but none seem to know what the actors name was.

The name is "Schwamp." In the latest edition of Jim Clark and Ken Beck's book "The Andy Griffith Show" Book they corrected the spelling from Schwump to Schwamp because they found a script that had the Schwamp spelling. The episodes and the scripts are the "bible" for Mayberry spelling.

To clarify even further...Schwamp is the spelling used in the script for Mr. Schwamp's first episode ("My Fair Ernest T. Bass"). In a later script or two (such as "The Lodge"), the spelling can be seen as Schwump, which is closer to how the name is usually pronounced. But in our book revisions, we've reverted to Schwamp because that's the way writer Everett Greenbaum created it. The later writers drifted toward the more phonetic spelling, but we opted not to drift and are holding with the original Greenbaum spelling. --Jim Clark

What is Big Maude saying when she sends Floyd to town? It sounded like AKKA BAKKA.

It is an old rhyme kind of like Eeny, Meeny, Miney, Mo that goes like this: (we're not sure of the spelling)

Akka Bakka Soda Cracker,
Akka Bakka Boo,
Akka Bakka Soda Cracker,
Out Goes YOU!

This seems to fit since she says it when she's telling them to get out.

What actor holds the record for appearing on TAGS in the most different roles?

Bob McQuain holds the unofficial record for the actor who played the most different characters on TAGS -- approximately 15 different roles, in various episodes. In "The Big House," Mr. McQuain played a policeman, and in "Aunt Bee the Warden," he played Ike Gordon. Mary Lansing comes very close with something like 13 different parts. It's hard to get an exact count, because in some episodes their characters are not referred to by name, making it impossible to know whether they were supposed to be the same character from previous episodes, or a new one altogether. -Paul Mulik

The absence of black people in any town in the South is an impossibility. Did the writers deliberatly script only white people for the show?

First off, you're 100% wrong. It is NOT an impossibility because there are NO black people living in the part of Alabama in which I grew up. I mean none. There are a few black folks in the county seat which is in the valley but there are none living up on the mountain which I grew up. The mountain has over 40 towns of sizes ranging from 4,000 up to about 15, 000 people. So, your assumption is wrong. There are MANY towns in the south without black people.

Also, you are wrong that there were no blacks in Mayberry. If you watch the people in the background, you'll see several black townspeople walking down the sidewalk and being a part of town. One that comes to mind right off is when Ed Sawyer, the stranger in town, is being confronted by the towns people out on the sidewalk...that crowd contains at least one black person and maybe more.

Of course there's also Flip Conroy (played by Rockne Tarkington). He was going to coach Opie's football team on the episode "Opie's Piano Lesson" #215. In that episode, Flip says he's returned to Mayberry after is pro-football playing days are over to run his father's business. This was the first time (and only time) that a black actor was featured as a main character. Up until then, blacks were only used as extras.

In my opinion, not having blacks on the show was just a reflection of the way things were and actually still are in many places. I'm not just talking about the south but all over. Folks tend, no matter how sad it is, to flock together in groups. It's not unusual for black folks to have mostly black friends and white folks to have mostly white friends....and that's in today's world. 40+ years ago it was even more true....which is too bad but that's life.

I don't really think it was the writers, sponsors or anybody else that caused the "whiteness" of the main characters on TAGS. I think it was based upon truthful story telling in relating stories revolving around Sheriff Andy Taylor and his friends....nothing else. I just don't think that there's anything else to read into it other than good story telling.

To see for youself some of the black townsfolk in Mayberry just visit the Black Mayberrians website.

Was the "Gold Truck" episode the one and only appearance of Doodles Weaver..(AKA-Regis)? Was he not the father of Sigourney Weaver?

He also played postman George Bricker in "Aunt Bee's Brief Encounter," the episode where Andy hires a "handyman." Doodles (real name: Winstead Sheffield Weaver) was actually Sigourney's uncle. I believe her father was Pat Weaver, former president of NBC. --Paul Mulik