These ‘Andy Griffith Show’ Actors Were Lovers and Everyone in the Cast Knew

It’s hard to believe it but in the innocent, fictional town of Mayberry, there were some very real shenanigans going on.

Specifically, two of The Andy Griffith Show‘s cast members were having an affair, and just about all of the cast was aware of it.

On the set of 'The Andy Griffith Show'
On the set of ‘The Andy Griffith Show’ | CBS via Getty Images

‘The Andy Griffith Show’ writers had a hard time writing for women

The show’s star, Andy Griffith, was also one of its writers and admittedly found it difficult to write for the female characters on the show.

In particular, the writers experienced trouble with those female characters that were Griffith’s romantic interests. Griffith blamed himself.

“We never knew how to write for women,” Griffith told Richard Kelly, author of the 1981 book The Andy Griffith Show. “We never did know, and because of my peculiar nature, and my personal relationship with women, and the difficulty that I’ve always had with them – it became even more difficult for us to write for women.”

Elinor Donahue, left, and Andy Griffith
Elinor Donahue, left, and Andy Griffith | CBS Photo Archive/Getty Images

Griffith felt the show failed his first Mayberry love interest, actor Elinor Donahue. Following the writers’ unsuccessful attempts to produce realistic scenarios for her, Donahue finally asked to be released from her contract.

“It wasn’t her fault,” Griffith said. “It starts with me. She asked to be relieved, and we were glad to oblige her because we didn’t know what else to do.”

The two ‘Andy Griffith Show’ actors who had an affair

Andy Griffith, Ron Howard, and Aneta Corsaut from 'The Andy Griffith Show'
Andy Griffith, Ron Howard, and Aneta Corsaut from ‘The Andy Griffith Show’ | CBS Photo Archive/Archive Photos/Getty Images

For all of Griffith’s claims regarding difficulties he had with women, he surely knew how to woo and win them. While married to his first wife Barbara, he and his on-set girlfriend Aneta Corsaut — who played Mayberry schoolteacher Helen Crump — became an item off set as well.

“Andy couldn’t get enough of Aneta,” author Daniel de Visé wrote in his 2015 book, Andy and Don: The Making of a Friendship and a Classic American TV Show.

“Eventually, he proposed, even though he was already married,” the author said. “He popped the question at least once and possibly two or three times, as Aneta hinted in later years. She turned him down.”

Everyone in the cast knew about Griffith and Corsaut’s affair

Aneta Corsaut and Andy Griffith, 1965
Aneta Corsaut and Andy Griffith, 1965 | CBS via Getty Images

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Despite the couple’s attempts to keep their relationship a secret, at some point the show’s cast became aware of it and let the pair know, as de Visé reported.

“One evening,” he wrote, “members of the Griffith crew unleashed a practical joke on Andy and Aneta: a young crewman donned a waiter’s uniform and delivered dinner to the couple’s love nest at a Hollywood hotel. Andy was furious.”

Show director Bob Sweeney’s daughter Bridget told de Visé, “They were trying to really keep it on the down low and they didn’t think anybody knew – but they all knew.”