Aneta Corsaut graduated from ''mean teacher'' to love interest on The Andy Griffith Show

Corsaut couldn't have cared less whether or not she and Andy tied the knot!

CBS Television Distribution

Aneta Corsaut was the love interest of none other than Sheriff Andy Taylor, played by Andy Griffith, on The Andy Griffith Show. Not many women could come between Andy and Barney's chemistry in Mayberry, but this schoolteacher stole his heart. 

Her character, Helen Crump, was originally introduced to Mayberry in season three, episode 23: "Andy Discovers America."

Andy and Helen had a relationship that developed gradually, leaving fans on edge with the "will they or won't they" tension that kept many viewers tuning in. The couple eventually became one of the only central romantic storylines in the entire series. 

Many fans had lots of opinions about Andy's new love interest. Some debated it, some hated it and others were rooting for them.

As debates sparked in households across the country, according to a 1965 interview with The Wichita Beacon, Corsaut couldn't have cared less whether or not she and Andy tied the knot.

"I'm just surprised that I have been on the series as long as I've been," Corsaut said. "Originally, I was slated for just a guest shot as Opie's mean teacher, and then gradually I was given more and more to do. What they wanted with an actress instead of a comedian I'll never know."

For many fans, it was easy to see why the producers chose Corsaut as Andy's love interest. She was naturally beautiful and her character, although "mean," was intelligent, independent, and caring. We couldn't think of a better match for Andy.

According to the interview, Corsaut was a struggling actress in Kansas before the series and was offered her first dose of job security when she became a regular.

In another 1964 interview with The Indianapolis Star, the bachelor in question, Andy Griffith, said working with TV wives and relationships is always a gamble. Introducing someone new could change the dynamic of the show and give writers additional work. But all good relationships take a little work.

"We've used women before, but the way TV works you have to sign them up for seven out of 13 shows and guarantee to get stories for them," Griffith said. "Wait and see how it works is more or less the motto of the Griffith Show."

Just like in a real relationship, Griffith put in the effort to see if his on-screen love interest was a perfect match. Luckily, the decision paid off not only for his character but also for the ratings.

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5 Comments

MrsPhilHarris 8 days ago
I suspect she was given more to do because Andy was interested in her personally.
harlow1313 8 days ago
"What they wanted with an actress instead of a comedian I'll never know." - Aneta Corsaut

It is interesting that her character is a modern independent single woman. ( I realize it can be said of the Ellie character too.) I wonder which characters from other programs predate her in that way.
ncadams27 harlow1313 7 days ago
Eve Arden in Our Miss Brooks - also a school teacher. Started in radio.
Runeshaper 8 days ago
It must have been a relief for Corsaut to stay on the show for the time she had there vs. one episode.
MsRockford74 8 days ago
Didn't like Helen..wish he ended up with Peggy!
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