The Throwback: Sheriff Andy Taylor's many women
July 5th, 2012
11:34 AM ET

The Throwback: Sheriff Andy Taylor's many women

Without much crime to solve in North Carolina’s fictional Mayberry, Sheriff Andy Taylor had plenty of time to woo the ladies on “The Andy Griffith Show.”

From the widowed father’s first girlfriend, Ellie Walker, to his eventual wife, Helen Crump, here’s a look back at Andy’s on-screen love life:

(In real life, Griffith, who died on Tuesday, was married three times. His first and second marriages ended in divorce in 1972 and 1981, respectively. He married his third wife, Cindi Knight, in 1983.)

Ellie Walker
We met Ellie Walker during the show’s first season. She came to Mayberry to fill in for her ailing Uncle Fred, the town pharmacist, and ended up becoming Andy’s first serious girlfriend. Opie takes a liking to Ellie early on when she offers him a free ice cream cone, under one condition: He can’t say “ain’t” anymore.

Mary Simpson
Nurse Mary Simpson, played by Julie Adams and Sue Ane Langdon, had a brief stint on “The Andy Griffith Show’s” second season. Mary attracted the attention of both Andy and Barney in an episode titled “Three’s a Crowd.”

Peggy McMillan
Andy dated nurse Peggy McMillan (Joanna Moore) during the show’s third season. But when he learned about her cushy upbringing, in an episode appropriately titled “Andy’s Rich Girlfriend,” their relationship suffered.

Sharon DeSpain
We learned a bit about Andy’s past at his high school reunion, which took place during the show’s third season. On the episode, he was reunited with his high school sweetheart, Sharon DeSpain, played by Peggy McCay. Of course, it wasn't in the cards for the former lovers. Sharon headed back to Chicago to be a “big fish in a big pond,” and Andy moved on to the next.

Helen Crump
Schoolteacher Helen Crump (Aneta Corsaut) is Andy’s longest love. The pair dated from the third season through the series finale. They were married on the first episode of CBS spin-off “Mayberry R.F.D.”

Which of Andy’s on-screen ladies were you hoping he'd end up with? Let us know in the comments below - and don't miss this video of actress Betty Lynn, who played Thelma Lou (the girlfriend of Don Knotts' Barney Fife) on "The Andy Griffith Show" and harbored a bit of a crush on her co-star, Griffith:

(Photos from CBS)

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Filed under: television • The Throwback

soundoff (95 Responses)
  1. touchdowntommytupa

    Give me Elle May any day!!! That lil gal was a spitfire!!! I always love a girl with spirit... besides Helen was an Ice Queen

    January 8, 2014 at 5:59 pm | Report abuse |
  2. babygirl

    My mom liked the Andy Griffith Show so much she named me Helena. She likes the subtle romance between Andy Taylor and Helen Crump. My brother learned a lot about how to treat a girlfriend from those shows.

    December 5, 2013 at 10:53 pm | Report abuse |
  3. Dsing

    I love the TAGS. Helen was the best choice. She matched Andy's intelligence. She loved his son and his Aunt. She had a career and wasn't concerned with being in the kitchen all day. They waited too long to have them married. Seems like that could have been a focus when Barney left the show. I still watch the TVLand reruns. But, they don't show the one where they got married.

    December 5, 2013 at 10:49 pm | Report abuse |
  4. tom

    i loved all the show with Helen in them she was the best lady for andy but they all were great looking women he couldn't go wrong with any of them

    December 4, 2013 at 8:58 pm | Report abuse |
  5. John

    Peggy!!!! Helen was the absolute worst thing that ever hapend to the andy griffeth show ( other than losing don knotts)
    Peggy was the greatest. they should have gotten mary tyler moore.

    November 22, 2013 at 9:51 am | Report abuse |
  6. Holly

    What about Charlene Darling, she was crazy about Andy.

    July 3, 2013 at 4:59 pm | Report abuse |
  7. Johann sixt

    I always thought JULIA ADAMS was the best one for Andy

    December 7, 2012 at 4:33 am | Report abuse |
  8. benniewatson

    good question who was opie mother?

    December 4, 2012 at 6:36 pm | Report abuse |
  9. thank god we created

    all this fake stuff in time. c's say its both.

    November 17, 2012 at 2:55 pm | Report abuse |
  10. juanita c

    What about the "Fun Girls"

    October 21, 2012 at 4:53 pm | Report abuse |
  11. Tony

    ron Howard got his start on this show.

    August 19, 2012 at 9:56 am | Report abuse |
  12. Jeffision

    I guess the episodes where he and the bumbling deputy snuck over to the neighboring town to hit the gay bars have been lost.

    July 26, 2012 at 8:12 pm | Report abuse |
  13. Andy

    Ellie Walker was the best, she was pretty smart had spunk and spoke up for herself without being obnoxious. Helen Krump was and still is the most frigid non-sociopathic woman ever to be portrayed on television. She was humorless and as dry as toast.

    July 25, 2012 at 3:46 pm | Report abuse |
  14. bill0830

    Peggy the nurse. She was beautiful, fun and even though she was from a rich family, felt right at home in Mayberry. Helen was too much like a older lady. Ellie was cute as a button, but maybe a on and off girlfriend. Mary the nurse was a cutie as well. I vote for Peggy.

    July 24, 2012 at 3:27 pm | Report abuse |
    • Tracy

      I vote for Peggy, she was beautiful,funny,a nurse, could cook and sing. Perfect!

      January 24, 2013 at 1:12 pm | Report abuse |
  15. Carl

    Ellie Walker was the real girl friend. She had a great smile and just seemed like a real person.

    July 23, 2012 at 10:55 am | Report abuse |
  16. Josh

    I only remember Helen Crump being Andy's true girlfriend. The others were just causal dates.

    July 19, 2012 at 2:35 pm | Report abuse |
  17. meema

    What about the gal who was the skeet shooting champion? I liked her

    July 16, 2012 at 10:36 am | Report abuse |
  18. freedom

    What about the "fun girls" from Mount Pilot?

    July 16, 2012 at 8:52 am | Report abuse |
  19. Mordac

    Back in the 50s, nobody "knew" a woman, everybody was a virgin, went to church 12 times a day, didn't smoke or drink or cuss.

    July 15, 2012 at 11:02 am | Report abuse |
    • Jerry

      I don't recall any women smoking, but Andy smoked once in a while in the early episodes.

      July 16, 2012 at 7:49 pm | Report abuse |
  20. Brad

    Sheriff Andy Taylor was a straight up pimp with all the ladies, much to Aunt Bee's dismay.

    July 13, 2012 at 4:27 pm | Report abuse |
  21. WS

    Ellie Walker was a real doll. What was her real name?

    July 13, 2012 at 4:26 pm | Report abuse |
    • Uncle David

      Elinor Donahue

      July 16, 2012 at 8:34 pm | Report abuse |
    • vicster

      I BELIEVE HER NAME WAS ELEANOR DONAHUE SHE PLAYED ON FATHER KNOWS BEST EPISODES AS THE OLDEST DAUGHTER!!

      July 16, 2012 at 9:57 pm | Report abuse |
    • Vera

      Ellie Walker was played by Elinor Donahoe. She was also one of the daughters in in Father Knows Best.

      July 16, 2012 at 11:25 pm | Report abuse |
    • Josh

      Commissioner Nancy Hedford, the love interest of Zefram Cochrane.

      July 19, 2012 at 2:43 pm | Report abuse |
  22. Carolyn Williams

    I always thought that Helen Crump was the best choice for Andy. They seemed to have a good working relationship and their personalities were matched perfectly. I just wish he had married her sooner.

    July 13, 2012 at 1:22 pm | Report abuse |
  23. MikeB

    I remember the episode where a couple of bimbos roll into town and try to nail Andy and Barney.

    July 12, 2012 at 3:55 pm | Report abuse |
  24. Fladabosco

    I only care about one woman on that show and she only showed up once. Check out the episode called 'The Manicurist' featuring a young Barbara Eden. Wow and Holy Cow!

    http://www.sitcomsonline.com/photopost/showphoto.php/photo/148804/si/Manicurist

    July 12, 2012 at 1:58 am | Report abuse |
    • retief1954

      Yeah! I still remember that one too. The scene where Andy and Barney watch her walking off down the sidewalk... oh man...

      July 13, 2012 at 3:41 pm | Report abuse |
  25. xfiler93

    such a great family show. no cussing, no perversions, no deviant storylines. If it tried to air today, it would be mocked and vilified as being to white, to christian or anglo saxon or some other BS by liberals in our PC sick society we live in today. sad testamount of how far we have fallen.

    July 11, 2012 at 11:06 am | Report abuse |
    • Rick Springfield

      It does air today, on TV Land. It is highly watched around the world today even in Muslim countries. My teenage nephews love it.

      July 11, 2012 at 2:02 pm | Report abuse |
    • Jean

      You can see Mayberry on TV almost everyday. It's been rerun for years and I hope it continues. You can also see Matlock on TV everyday. It was another excellent show.

      July 12, 2012 at 1:39 pm | Report abuse |
    • retief1954

      Yes, but your opinion is silly and doesn't count for anything... one of those "I remember when" conservatives... did you walk 15 miles to school AND back, and it was ALL uphill?

      July 13, 2012 at 3:46 pm | Report abuse |
    • retief1954

      oh, and btw, xfiler93, it's spelled "testament", not "testamount". You go to the same grade-, middle-, and high schools as Sarah Palin?

      July 13, 2012 at 3:50 pm | Report abuse |
    • sosofresh

      All of the children who grew up watching this show are the people who grew up and created the society that you seem so sickened by today.

      July 13, 2012 at 4:41 pm | Report abuse |
  26. Richard from Texas

    Sorry the correct name of the epdisode was called "The Perfect Female". I thought she was perfect for Andy, and would have made a great co star shooting all the future bad guys in the show!

    July 11, 2012 at 10:38 am | Report abuse |
  27. Richard from Texas

    What about Karen Moore played by Gail Davis in the episode "The Perfect Woman" from Season 2 also?

    July 11, 2012 at 10:34 am | Report abuse |
  28. Bobby Bankston

    To clarify, they did include nurse Mary but in one episode she was played by a different actress – Julie Adams. All I can say is, Meowwwww!!

    July 11, 2012 at 9:26 am | Report abuse |
  29. Bobby Bankston

    They forgot nurse Mary who never was shown really as Andy's girlfriend but who was hotter than any of the rest of them hands down. And by the way, I never understood what Andy saw in Helen.

    July 11, 2012 at 9:22 am | Report abuse |
  30. Joe

    You forgot Charlene Darling!

    July 10, 2012 at 8:40 am | Report abuse |
  31. Lindacw

    Who was Opie's mother?

    July 9, 2012 at 10:58 pm | Report abuse |
  32. lennie

    Patti–you sound like a HORRIBLE person. is html permitted here??

    July 9, 2012 at 9:25 am | Report abuse |
  33. David S. Band Sarasota

    he will be missed.

    July 8, 2012 at 12:47 pm | Report abuse |
  34. Lee Evan Tabas

    A great talent.

    July 8, 2012 at 12:46 pm | Report abuse |
  35. observer

    HELEN WAS MODERN FOR THAT TIME ERA, SHE HAD A CAREER, ATTRACTIVE AND OUT SPOKEN AND IF ANY CHEATED ON HER SHE'D DUMP HIS ASS...

    ANDY AND HELEN WERE GERAT AND WITH HELEN HE MATURED AS A MAN....

    July 8, 2012 at 11:04 am | Report abuse |
    • CORRECTION: OBSERVER

      HELEN WAS MODERN FOR THAT TIME ERA, SHE HAD A CAREER, ATTRACTIVE AND OUT SPOKEN.

      ANDY AND HELEN WERE GERAT. ANDY BECAME MORE MATURE AS A MAN WITH HELEN.

      July 8, 2012 at 11:07 am | Report abuse |
  36. joyss sky

    Hey. I ran across your own website the particular on the internet. This is an excellent report. Let me ensure that you book mark it and go back to find out more of your helpful information. We appreciate you the particular article. I willsurely give back. joyss sky

    July 6, 2012 at 11:35 pm | Report abuse |
  37. A.D. Carrington

    I liked Helen for Andy, the writers made her character ahead of it's time; independent and not anxious to get married. There was a lot of chemistry between those two, I always wondered if they ever dated in real life. She never married but he was unless in between marriages. I loved the show, I have the DVD's but still watch TV land. The show is still the best ever.

    July 6, 2012 at 9:50 pm | Report abuse |
  38. Fired again!

    DID SHE GET FIRED AGAIN!

    July 6, 2012 at 7:11 pm | Report abuse |
  39. MayberryFan

    Ellie was a stone fox! Plus she was educated, independent, sweet, etc. I liked Andy, but he wasn't good enough for her. Now, if Ernest T. Bass had gotten together with her...

    July 6, 2012 at 5:46 pm | Report abuse |
  40. jc

    Elinor Donahue was ok, but she was a little too young for Andy and I felt she and Andy lacked chemistry. I think Joanna Moore would have been the logical long-term girl for Andy. I think they worked very well together. I guess her substance abuse problems kept her from continuing on the show.

    July 6, 2012 at 3:31 pm | Report abuse |
  41. Todd

    Elli walker looks just like sarah silverman and peggy (joanna Moore) was entirely hot did you see how sweet she looked in that dress in the episode where they are at the pond at night ,with barney and thelmalou? Joanna Moore was Tatum O'neils (Movie-Paper Moon)mom by the way!

    July 6, 2012 at 3:12 pm | Report abuse |
  42. Pragmatist

    Peggy was Andy's best girlfriend. Any of them were better than witchy Helen Crump. She would always fly off the handle first, ask questions later.

    July 6, 2012 at 3:10 pm | Report abuse |
  43. Margaret & Family

    Everyone in the world still flips the Andy Griffith Show on TV Land. Andy appeared to be a decent and kind gentleman. We had the Danny Thomas show which was hysterical, I Love Lucy, Bob Hope, Cid Ceaser, Red Skelton, Jack Benny and many others, Martha Raye, Lucille Ball, Carol Burnett....these people were true comics - families were able to sit down together and watch these shows. Unlike like today where its mostly sh-t on TV....swapping wives and and disrespecting others ...these reality shows that are not helping your brain learn anything..I did an essay on this 2 years ago...Most of this sh-t on tv are a poor examples to children who think this is the way life is..Having some innocent fun in your life keeps you grounded as a person. At this moment right now i'm thinking of Carol Burnett when she did the spinoff of gone with the wind, i love lucy's vita meata vegimin classic show. Mary Tyler Moore, Chuckles the Clown Dies, Red Skelton's Freddie the Freeloader...It was all harmless and innocent fun that people need to get back to at times, not this crap on TV that doesn't enlighten your brain at all. Rest in Peace to one of the most famous Sheriff's in the world!

    YOU DON'T LIKE THIS OPINION SCREW YOU.....

    July 6, 2012 at 11:21 am | Report abuse |
    • Irony detector

      Re: Margaret and Family's post.

      This post, by Margaret and Family, is just dripping with irony. Complaining about all the stuff on TV that is not family-friendly and disrespecting others while using expletives and disrespect. Very nice.

      July 6, 2012 at 2:16 pm | Report abuse |
    • JOEY TO IRONY DETECTOR...

      ARE WE READY?
      BAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAWAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAHOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAOWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHWWWWWWWWWWWWHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAHOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOHEEEEEEEEEEEEEEHAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAWHOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOHAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAHAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAHEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEHOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOHEEEEEEEEEEEEEEWOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOHAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAHEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEHOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOHOOOOOOOOOOOO

      July 6, 2012 at 2:30 pm | Report abuse |
    • Patti

      Margaret and Family: You seem like lovely people. Who ends a comment with "you don't like this, screw you?" Go away....

      July 6, 2012 at 3:30 pm | Report abuse |
    • ENZO TO CROCS.

      MAY I HAVE A HOTDOG WITH PASTRAMI AND FILLET WITH JELLY ON A SEEDED ROLL , ALSO A MARTINI WITH A SPLASH OF BEER IN A COLD GLASS AND DELIVER IT TO 1313 MOCKINGBIRD LANE. GOT IT?

      July 6, 2012 at 3:32 pm | Report abuse |
    • louie about margaret

      that last line on the review.....i would say she mean't ... thats the way it goes...her words are a little jumbled but i got the ending part..
      This woman appears to be able to give somebody a reality check they will never forget...she doesn't appear to have been through a terrible situation actually its the opposite...this chick has balls.

      July 6, 2012 at 4:26 pm | Report abuse |
    • jen to margaret

      margaret– a bit of stong ending .... Andy comments were great and your right..its time to get back to basics.

      what i got from your closing line is...you punch..i punch 3 more times(not psychically of course but you know what i mean) - i agree chick don't play...

      July 6, 2012 at 4:37 pm | Report abuse |
    • is this

      the patty that i fired a few years ago?

      July 6, 2012 at 7:05 pm | Report abuse |
    • ZACK TO PATTY

      I THINK SHE WAS QUITE CLEAR AND DID A GREAT JOB...A LITTLE POWERUL AT THE END BUT SO TRUE.

      .NOW GO MAKE SOME EGG SALAD SANDWICHES AND A COUPLE OF TEQUILA'S I'M HUNGRY!

      July 6, 2012 at 7:31 pm | Report abuse |
    • Marcus Family

      Margaret's review was fine...the last line was a little dramatic, i feel she may have been debated on this issue at some point so that is why she ended it that way...however, she's right... we need that innocent fun back in our lives, there is too much bitter going on. the innocence kept us going. my wife and i are married 47 yrs and we understood what you mean't girl!

      Andy, Barney & the rest of the cast were terrific, my personal favorite was Gomer Pyle! RIP Andy

      July 7, 2012 at 12:02 pm | Report abuse |
    • t

      How are your anger management classes going?

      t

      July 10, 2012 at 4:28 pm | Report abuse |
    • Joyce

      I agree with you 100%. My sister and I talk about it all the time. When sitcoms and those old shows were "funny and entertaining." It's so sad that this world has gone to the Kardashians, the Lindsay Lohens (how many get out of jail free cards does she have). All of these so called "entertainers" are not entertaining to me. I would love to see reruns of all the shows you mentioned, including Archie Bunker. Guess I am showing my age.

      July 13, 2012 at 9:25 am | Report abuse |
  44. Michael Caliazzo

    Danny Thomas was a brillinat man.

    July 6, 2012 at 8:32 am | Report abuse |
  45. Rennie

    Ellie all the way! Peggy was pretty cool too. Crump was a drag.

    July 5, 2012 at 11:21 pm | Report abuse |
    • Joey

      Helen was INTELLIGENT and had pretty eyes, however she would never allow a man to cheat on her or treat her like a wet rag...Helen was the one!

      July 8, 2012 at 6:32 am | Report abuse |
  46. sarah

    Miss Ellie, although she was to independent...she ran for office!

    July 5, 2012 at 7:14 pm | Report abuse |
  47. Towanda

    I feel sad – feel like a long lost high school friend passed away. He (and his roles) were comfortable to watch and wish we had more people like him and more neighborhoods like his.

    July 5, 2012 at 6:52 pm | Report abuse |
    • great statement Towanda

      Our neighborhoods do not have an Andy, or a Barney type around us anymore.

      I've done alot of analysis on people over the last 5 years who disloyal and do not care that they are disloyal...... Are they on drugs, alcoholics, bipolar disorder, genetic, disfunctional parents/families that could have caused terrible behavior ..its like people want to suck you into their baggage life style so it makes them feel better for a few minutes.

      I have the same friends for 35 years and our friends enzo and his girlfriend said recently at a bbq that we together are the only people that we can trust, we will continue never include people we do not trust in our world. we all put our hands on top of each other and cheered.

      The Andy Griffith Show was an example of loyalty, innocence, but most of all true friendship.

      July 6, 2012 at 2:11 pm | Report abuse |
  48. Jack

    Hello folks. Everyone is welcome to visit – thestarofkaduri.com

    July 5, 2012 at 6:06 pm | Report abuse |
    • Nameless

      NOT HERE DIMWIT! TAKE IT ELSEWHERE! WHY DON'T YOU GET A MEGAPHONE AND PREACH ON THE CORNER LIKE ALL THE OTHER WINGNUTS?

      July 6, 2012 at 6:43 am | Report abuse |
  49. Snorlax

    I don't know about Andy, but i always had a thing for Aunt Bea...

    July 5, 2012 at 5:58 pm | Report abuse |
  50. Rita

    I always wanted Andy to be with Peggy McMillian!!

    July 5, 2012 at 5:57 pm | Report abuse |
    • Dave

      I totally agree with you, nurse Peggy was my favorite. Reminded me of Atticus Finches 'across the street' neighbor Maudie in 'To Kill A Mockingbird'- I always thought Maudie had an eye for Atticus.

      July 17, 2012 at 5:50 pm | Report abuse |
  51. Jack

    He must have loved shooting off his night stick

    July 5, 2012 at 4:36 pm | Report abuse |
  52. Ted

    Andy loved the cream puff

    July 5, 2012 at 4:33 pm | Report abuse |
  53. Aura

    He sure was a busy man.

    July 5, 2012 at 1:43 pm | Report abuse |
  54. Dreg

    Ole Andg got a lotta pus.

    July 5, 2012 at 12:22 pm | Report abuse |

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