Maggie Peterson, Actress on ‘The Andy Griffith Show,’ Dies at 81

Posted 38 days ago


Maggie Peterson, the singer and actress known for her recurring role on The Andy Griffith Show as Charlene Darling, the only daughter of a bluegrass-loving mountain family, has died. She was 81.

Peterson died Sunday in Colorado, her family announced. They said her health “took a turn for the worse” in the wake of the December death of her husband, Las Vegas-based jazz musician Gus Mancuso. They were married for more than 40 years.

Peterson first appeared on CBS’ The Andy Griffith Show as Charlene in 1963 near the end of the comedy’s third season when she leads her family in a bouncy rendition of “Salty Dog.”

She showed up on four other episodes of the show through 1966 — once, she shared a wedding dress with Don Knotts — then played another character on the 1968 episode “A Girl for Goober” in the final season.

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Peterson had auditioned to play a love interest for Griffith’s Sheriff Andy Taylor, but the role went to Elinor Donahue. Her Charlene had a big crush on Andy, and after she married Dud Wash (Hoke Howell), she wound up naming her daughter, And... (Read more)