‘The Andy Griffith Show’: Oscar Winner Tatum O’Neal’s Mom Was Briefly a Star on the Show

Andy Griffith, center, as Sheriff Andy Taylor surrounded by 'The Andy Griffith Show's 'Fun Girls' Jean Carson and Joyce Jameson, 1964
Andy Griffith, center, as Sheriff Andy Taylor surrounded by ‘The Andy Griffith Show’s ‘Fun Girls’ Jean Carson and Joyce Jameson, 1964 | CBS via Getty Images

The Andy Griffith Show had its share of future famous actors appear throughout its episodes.

There was Rob Reiner in the show’s seventh season; Jerry Van Dyke in the fifth season; and Barbara Eden stopped by Floyd’s barber shop in Season 2.

One actor who appeared briefly on the series was the future mother of Academy Award-winning actor Tatum O’Neal.

So many love interests but no wedding

Don Knotts (1924 - 2006) as Deputy Barney Fife and Andy Griffith (right) as Sheriff Andy Taylor in a scene from the television series 'The Andy Griffith Show', circa 1965.
Don Knotts as Deputy Barney Fife and Andy Griffith (right) as Sheriff Andy Taylor in a scene from the television series ‘The Andy Griffith Show’, circa 1965. | CBS Photo Archive/Archive Photos/Getty Images

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As much as Griffith was provided with more than a few love interests on the series, none of them resulted in a walk down the aisle. Ellie was sassy and smart, Peggy was warm and caring, and Helen Crump, his final and lasting relationship until Season 8, was as sharp-minded as she was pretty. It seemed Andy didn’t want to make a commitment, as Andy and Don author Daniel de Visé noted with a theory of his own.

“There would be no wedding for Ellie, nor for lovely Joanna Moore, fiery Aneta Corsaut, or any of the other women paraded through Mayberry as romantic interests for Andy, through the entire eight-year run of [the show],” he wrote. “The real “marriage” in Mayberry was between Andy and Barney.”

Joanna Moore was Griffith’s love interest for a time

Joanna Moore poses in a white swimsuit for a 1957 promotional poster for the film 'Slim Carter'
Joanna Moore poses in a white swimsuit for a 1957 promotional poster for the film ‘Slim Carter’ | Universal/Getty Images

In the Griffith Show‘s first season, viewers were introduced to “the female druggist” Ellie Walker, Andy’s first love interest, played by Father Knows Best alum Elinor Donahue. Eventually, Donahue asked to be released from her contract on the show and the hunt was on for a new female companion for the Mayberry sheriff.

Cue Joanna Moore. The blonde and pretty actor portrayed town nurse Peggy McMillan who dated the sheriff for four episodes in the show’s third season. It’s unknown why she remained such a short amount of time.

Moore in 1962 told the Akron Beacon Journal how much she enjoyed being part of The Andy Griffith Show.

“I liked the Griffith show better than anything else I’ve ever done,” she said. “Everyone on the program is so nice. The show is well organized and there is no rush. The people discuss their problems openly and the difficulties just seem to disappear. I was shocked by the honesty on that show, but it was a refreshing kind of honesty.”

Moore was married to actor Ryan O’Neal

Actor Tatum O'Neal, left, with her mother actor Joanna Moore in 1981
Actor Tatum O’Neal, left, with her mother actor Joanna Moore in 1981 | Ron Galella/Ron Galella Collection via Getty Images

Joanna Moore married actor Ryan O’Neal in 1963 and that year gave birth to their daughter, future Oscar winner Tatum O’Neal. The pair divorced in 1967.

In 1973, Tatum then age 9, became (and as of now still is) the youngest actor to earn the coveted statuette for Best Supporting Actress for her role as Addie Loggins in the 1973 film, Paper Moon.

Tatum starred in the film alongside her father Ryan.

She told The Guardian in 2011 that she keeps her Oscar “just in the other room on a shelf. It’s not glowing or anything.”