The girl that Andy tossed in jail grew up to have a crush on Gomer Pyle

Joy Ellison grew up in the world of Mayberry. Today, she is a dialect coach for actors.

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Andy Taylor had good reason to throw a family of four in jail during the holiday season. He was making a point to mean ol' Ben Weaver. In the charming "Christmas Story," The Andy Griffith Show's answer to It's a Wonderful Life, the grouchy businessman demands that the sheriff toss Sam Muggins in the clink for moonshining. Nevermind that it's Christmas Eve — the law must be upheld. 

So, Andy takes it a step further and throws the entire Muggins family behind bars, including mother Bess Muggins and kids Billy and Effie. Mayberry fans know the rest of the "Christmas Story." Ellie, Andy and the Muggins sing "Away in a Manger," which thaws the frozen heart of Ben Weaver.

There is some fascinating trivia locked up in that jail cell. Margaret Kerry, who played Bess Muggins, was the live-action model for Tinkerbell in the Disney classic Peter Pan. Young Joy Ellison, the freckle-cheeked Effie Muggins, made her own impressive mark on Hollywood.

Her work has appeared in — well, been heard in, technically — everything from Brokeback Mountain and Terminator Salvation to Mad Men and American Horror Story. Joy Ellison is a dialect coach. She has tutored Brad Pitt, Jake Gyllenhaal, Jodie Foster, Anne Hathaway, Anthony Hopkins, and dozens of other massive names.

But long before that, she had a crush on Gomer Pyle.

In her adolescent acting days, Ellison made frequent appearances in the world of Mayberry. She popped up in four more episodes of The Andy Griffith Show, from 1961–67, playing "Mary Wiggins," "Mary Scobey," "Betsy" and "Iris." As we have mentioned before, the television universe of Mayberry played fast and loose with continuity.  

This is why, in 1968, Ellison turned up in Gomer Pyle, U.S.M.C. as a love-struck teenager named "Molly Peters." The episode "Luv Finds Gomer Pyle" sees Gomer buying a soda for a girl without money. That would be Ellison's character, of course. The story is chockablock with familiar Mayberry faces.

Elizabeth MacRae, Gomer's true love Lou-Ann Poovie, also was "Betty Parker" on The Andy Griffith Show. That episode also featured actor Scott Lane as "Tommy Parker," Betty's brother. And guess what? Scott Lane is also in "Luv Finds Gomer Pyle"!

Mayberry truly is a small world.

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Big3Fan 19 days ago
She was Opie's pick for the Miss Mayberry pageant.
robert 22 days ago
One of the least memorable actors to appear on the show. Actually don't recall her at all.
harlow1313 robert 21 days ago
It is an episode worth watching because Gomer does some particularly inspired dancing with the Molly Peterson character.
Wiseguy 22 days ago
"As we have mentioned before, the television universe of Mayberry played fast and loose with continuity."

Having an actor playing different parts has little to do with continuity. There are really only so many available actors who the casting directors know and like to play the many parts needed to be cast.
Just about any series in the history of television has the same actors appearing in different roles. In real life, many people do tend to look like many other people.
Now, on the other hand, having the same character played by different actors? That's playing fast and loose with continuity although many times it's beyond the control of the producers. Actors do die, are not available at crucial times or are simply unliked for whatever reason by the producers. But it still affects continuity.
JHP 22 days ago
Boy did she get a surprise later in life
hermanstein2015 23 days ago
She's such a nice woman, got to meet her at Mayberry Days last year. Some of my favorite episodes of each show had her in them!
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