Helen Crump wasn't initially meant to be a recurring character

Aneta Corsaut was the perfect fit onscreen and behind the scenes.

Aneta Corsaut will forever be remembered for her time in Mayberry. Beginning with 1963's "Andy Discovers America," Corsaut was a mainstay. While she'd only make two appearances in season 3, and five episodes in season 4, her role would quickly rise in prominence. In total, Corsaut appeared in 66 episodes of The Andy Griffith Show

But that's not how things were planned out, originally.

In her first appearance, Corsaut was Opie's new teacher, Miss Helen "Old Lady" Crump. While the name fits the bill of a nasty ol' crabapple, Corsaut's face made her hard to hate. She was at first meant to be a one-off character, but her chemistry with the other actors meant she kept coming back.

"I'm just surprised that I've been on the series as long as I have been," Corsaut told the El Paso Herald-Post in 1965.

"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 comedienne, I'll never know."

While Corsaut remained humble about her prowess, it's clear to see why producers used her so frequently. In front of the camera, she was everything you'd hope for Andy Taylor's girlfriend. Behind the scenes, Corsaut got along well with the cast and was fond of playing cards and betting at the racetrack. This put her at a distinct advantage over Elinor Donahue, who'd previously been ousted as Andy's onscreen beau.

Throughout those 66 episodes, Corsaut didn't just win Andy Taylor's heart. She won over millions of viewers and became an integral part of The Andy Griffith Show.

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JohnnyWalker 4 months ago
The article says Helen replaced Ellie as Andy's "beau." "Beau" means "boy" in traditional parlance so "belle" would be the correct term to use I think. It certainly isn't "beau" as used here. Helen wasn't a "boy." I'm surprised the writer of this piece didn't know that....but I appreciate Metv's efforts and articles about the show.
JohnnyWalker 4 months ago
Helen was a mean annoyingly jealous girlfriend. She could be downright evil. ALWAYS jealous and mean. Almost every episode she was in she was jealous of Andy in some way...and gave him evil eyes. She was a good actress in that she could legitimately make the viewer hate her and her over the top jealousy. She was always suspicious of Andy. Just plain mean, and Elinor Donahue was MUCH more appealing. I didn't like Helen's looks compared to Andy's much prettier girlfriends. When I think of Helen I picture her mean, jealous face. I guess give her credit for the ability to portray such a mean, jealous woman and be believable.
Snickers 10 months ago
Hate to say it but really liked Elinor Donahue over Corsaut. Just could not warm up to Helen.
cheduff 10 months ago
When watching Adam-12 with Aneta Corsaut as Martin Milner’s girlfriend, I cannot help thinking she was hunching Pete Malloy offscreen too. Take a look at her bedroom eyes with him…..whoo hoo!!
cheetah001 10 months ago
Thinking back over the 1960’s I would say that Ellie couldn’t stomach an offscreen dalliance with AG. The chemistry just wasn’t there.
BVC1960 10 months ago
She & Andy had off screen chemistry also, which is another reason she stayed on show
MrsPhilHarris BVC1960 10 months ago
I was thinking the same thing.
Bapa1 10 months ago
"got along with the cast"? You bet she did.
LoveMETV22 10 months ago
Although Aneta Corsaut was an integral actress on the series it was not an "oust" of Elinor Donahue.
Elinor Donahue requested to be let out of her contract ( for personal reasons) to which the producers of the series obliged (that fact has also been confirmed in interviews by Elinor Donahue herself). The rest is just how the series evolved or developed.
harlow1313 10 months ago
I certainly would have loved to park the squad car down by the duck pond, Helen Crump at my side.
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harlow1313 Snickers 10 months ago
Don't be too hasty.

When parked down at the duck pond, it is rumored that Clara yodels when pleased!
LoveMETV22 harlow1313 10 months ago
It was rumored Clara took yodeling lessons from Curly!
LoveMETV22 harlow1313 10 months ago
Also Katharine Hepburn was a good yodeler. However a different pond and for a different reason.
Snickers harlow1313 10 months ago
Yes but then you scare all the ducks!
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