Andy Griffith hid a sweet tribute to his wife in the episode where Opie loves Helen

When Andy tells Opie about his first crush, he's really describing his first wife!

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About five minutes into the fifth season premiere episode of The Andy Griffith Show, Opie asks Andy over breakfast for advice on his new crush, who happens to be older than him.

"I wouldn't let that bother me," Andy says, before launching into a very special flashback you might not realize has connections to his real life in "Opie Loves Helen."

"I remember when I was about your age, I was trying to court a little girl called Barbara Edwards. She was in the upper fifth grade, and I was in the lower. Now, I will admit, there was some talk, but I didn't let it bother me."

Attentive ears have picked up on the fact that "Barbara Edwards" isn't some random name used in the show, but the name of Andy Griffith's real wife at the time the episode aired, Barbara Bray Edwards.

And in case you were wondering, we do know the real story of how Andy courted the real Barbara Edwards, thanks to the meticulous history of Griffith's life kept in Daniel de Visé's 2015 book Andy and Don: The Making of a Friendship and a Classic American TV Show.

To set the record straight, Barbara Edwards wasn't older than Griffith, but just a few months younger. He was born in June and she in August of 1926. She went by the nickname Bobby, and when Griffith first saw her, she was wearing a sweater that matched her skirt — and, yes, Bobby's brown hair was cut in a cute bob.

He didn’t approach her the first time he saw her. Like Opie, he was cautious, perhaps a little shy. But when a few days later he saw her again, his interest increased rapidly. Soon after that, he heard how beautifully she sang at a local theater audition, and he was positively smitten.

He waited until she finished singing and then he asked her out for coffee that day, and then just three days later, he asked for her hand in marriage.

When Andy married Barbara Edwards two years later, there was "some talk," as in, a write-up in the local News Observer and Sun in 1949, announcing how beautiful their small wedding was:

"Given in marriage by her father, the bride wore a street-length dress of bronze satin, a bronze beaver hat, and bronze accessories. She carried a bronze gladioli and white asters. Her only ornament was her mother's pearl and diamond lavaliere."

At the time of that article, it was Barbara Edwards who was the acting star — dazzling theater audiences with her clear-as-a-bell voice that made Griffith hear wedding bells — and not yet Griffith.

But by the time "Opie Loves Helen" aired in 1964, Andy had become the TV legend, and he hid a tribute to his supportive wife who helped him get there, tucked away like a romantic present in the poignant dialog of his hit show.

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Pilaf 7 days ago
Hmm. "A tribute to his wife," while he was doing the "mattress mambo" on the daily with Aneta Corseaut?
vinman63 3 months ago
We were never told how Opie mother died?
LoveMETV22 vinman63 3 months ago
It's one of those unsolved mysteries , like where was Mayfield on Leave it to Beaver? Lol
vinman63 LoveMETV22 3 months ago
I thought Mayfield was from the state of Confusion
EdCaf LoveMETV22 3 months ago
...or where Green Acres takes place!
LoveMETV22 EdCaf 3 months ago
There's a link to that on a METV nostalgia page. from 2016 "Here are the real locations for 8 fictional TV towns".Doesn't mention Leave it to Beaver though.
Andybandit 3 months ago
Cute story about Andy Griffith and his wife.
MauriceMungin 3 months ago
We all have our on faults, so why continue to belittle someone for mistakes of so long ago. I mean how do we know he didn't ask for forgiveness? Who are any of you people to judge this man's life? I mean who died and made any of us God? How many lies have many of us not told? How many times have any of us not looked at a woman or man with lust in our hearts? How many of us have not had murderous thoughts in our minds for our fellow man? Not trying to antagonize...just asking a question. Behind a keyboard, we can be Mr. and Mrs. Perfect, but I'm mighty afraid that if the good Lord gave anyone besides yourself the key to your unopened past, I'm just wondering how many skeletons are hiding there. In my opinion, Andy Griffith taught a lot of us men how to raise our boys. So dear Mr. Griffith thank you for helping me gain more understanding on how to raise my little boy. You never said you were perfect, but your show is perfect for me. You never boasted that you were the best, but I know the school of Andy Griffith will help me to pass my daddy's test. You never professed you were righteous, but your show, in my opinion, is in right standing with me. Your road was long and it was hard, but I do believe right now you are standing in the embrace of my Father God. So you go on and rest and take it easy and allow me to apologize for most of these comments being so sleazy. R.I.P. Andy Griffith
harlow1313 MauriceMungin 3 months ago
Well, a couple of things.

I do not believe in thought crime.

Regarding sleazy comments, I don't believe you or I can apologize for another's actions.

I am a non-believer, and an open book. No skeletons, beyond minor embarrassments.

Rather than Mr. Griffith, I believe the writers for the show would be most responsible for any lessons gleaned.

TAGS has a fair amount of lying and dishonesty, though most episodes are well intended.
LoveMETV22 harlow1313 3 months ago
Well put harlow, There are plenty of episodes that any of the main characters have had one form or another of dishonesty. But it's what the writers of the show scripted. What each actor/actress did in their life is their own business whether or not it was made public. Still a good show. No comment on the original comment is goes in too many directions.
Pilaf MauriceMungin 2 months ago
Sorry, but no sale. He was doing the mattress mambo with off-putting Aneta Corseaut immediately after she joined the cast. They both humiliated Barbara Griffith and their 2 adopted children. Griffith & Corseaut continued their affair during all three of Andy Griffith's marriages.
Pilaf MauriceMungin 7 days ago
Easy for you to say. You aren't Barbara Edward's Griffith. Nor are you Andy's poor adopted son. He was a great actor, but Andy Griffith was NOT Sheriff Andy Taylor.
Temperance 3 months ago
WOW, would be super sweet if he wasn't a cheating swine!
Laina Temperance 3 months ago
I have wondered if the reason Helen (Aneta) was his girlfriend and later wife, was because she went along with him. Of course in real life, he ended life with some gal young enough to be his granddaughter.
LalaLucy Temperance 3 months ago
Yep. That was my first thought.
MrsPhilHarris 3 months ago
Interesting considering word is he and Aneta were having an affair.
Sway 3 months ago
The bride wore a “bronze beaver hat” ?
njeri95 Sway 3 months ago
I know! Lol!
Pacificsun 3 months ago
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texasluva Pacificsun 3 months ago
Just a side note. I have already given out the bonus movie showing tonight. It's in the Ocean too. It goes by the name of Lifeboat
Pacificsun texasluva 3 months ago
You mean you're limited to what the Archive offers? So you're saying you don't have access to Oceans Eleven.
texasluva Pacificsun 3 months ago
As the story unfolds. When you were on your vacation from MeTV and my Movie quiz a few things transpired. MPH would always guess Oceans Eleven as a joke. This continued a few quizzes ago when Moody followed her lead and the first guess by him was Ocean's Eleven. He laughing about it and stated "just couldn't help it", yeah right . Right before that time I amusingly posted to MPH my thoughts on that running joke. She then innocently stated it was not her who started this inside joke but guess who? I started to wrack my brain to remember some of that persons posts in jest from the past. Bingo! So in order (fun) I decided to state there will be no Oceans E Oh Eleven in the near future. Then you reappeared and so kindly begged (I got a great laugh out of that) and now having most all quizzers in on it. Have it or not it's not coming to the Big Screen for a bit. The bit being at least a couple of weeks or until something or another freezes over
texasluva Pacificsun 3 months ago
Sorry no O11 last night. Were you wanting to post to me at 3:45 this morning? Maybe changed mind because it had a Touch Of Evil in it
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