There were times that friction did rear its head, as happened in one instance between Goober Pyle actor George Lindsey and another actor, who’d had enough of Lindsey’s antics on set.
George Lindsey played Goober Pyle
Lindsey, who died in 2012, portrayed Gomer Pyle’s cousin on The Andy Griffith Show from 1964 to 1968. His character was even more down-home and goofy than his cousin. In fact, Lindsey had been hired to play the role of Gomer but Jim Nabors eventually was signed on for the part.
In a 2010 interview with The Huffington Post, Lindsey mused on Andy Griffith’s gifting as the show’s visionary.
“He was a great leader and the best script constructionist that I’ve ever worked with,” he said. “And he was easy to work with. If you knew your lines, that’s all you needed… and I worked with another guy that was brilliant and that’s Don Knotts. They were terrific professional actors, and I was honored to be in their company.”
Frances Bavier didn’t like ‘shenanigans’ on the show’s set
Bavier who played the beloved Aunt Bee on the comedy was not a big fan of the noisy and jolly atmosphere on the set. Very professional and business-like, Bavier’s orderliness was very much in contrast to the set’s hijinks, as Ron Howard told the Archive of American Television in 2006.
Howard who played Opie on the classic series remembered Bavier as a talented actor who was not easy to please.
“She kept to herself,” Howard said. “Frances very much kept to herself. She was a New York stage actress, and I think she always loved the job and appreciated it was a big success, and was extremely professional.
“But I don’t think she ever felt a part of what these boys were up to and their shenanigans.”
Bavier got physical with Lindsey
When Lindsey joined the 1960s show’s cast, he easily became one of its most rowdy cast members. As Ron Howard recalled, in between filming, Griffith, Knotts, and much of the crew took part in guitar playing, singing, telling stories, and general lighthearted fun.
Lindsey, apparently, was fond of dropping swear words into his conversation.
Bavier, according to Biography, never grew used to the high-spirited side of life on the set. The show’s star Andy Griffith rarely played his trademark practical jokes on Bavier, knowing she would not play along. She was friendly but too serious.
Reportedly, Bavier had one day had enough of Lindsey’s cussing on the set of Mayberry, R.F.D., which was the Griffith show’s spinoff, that she saw it suitable to hit him on the head with her umbrella.
As Lindsey told The Huffington Post, “Frances and I got along but you stepped around Frances. She would let you know how she felt.”