This Andy Griffith Show actress appeared on television just the one time

So what happened to Edris March of ''Ellie Saves a Female''?

"Ellie Saves a Female," an episode of The Andy Griffith Show from late in the first season, seems like a run-of-the-mill sitcom installment of the early 1960s. Barney has a run-in with some cute baby pigs. Andy gets spritzed with a perfume called Midnight Madness. 

The more interesting storylines were perhaps happening behind the scenes. The episode offered up a college reunion, a farewell of sorts, and a very rare sighting.

R.G. Armstrong, a relative newcomer with credits on several Westerns like Maverick, The Rifleman and Have Gun – Will Travel under his belt, played Farmer Flint. The character actor had close ties to Andy himself. Armstrong attended the University of North Carolina – Chapel Hill, where he honed his thespian skills as a member of the Carolina Playmakers. Fellow Tarheel alum Griffith was a member of the very same theater ensemble. The two chums had a chance to work together on the boob tube.

Meanwhile, "Ellie Saves a Female" would be a swan song of sorts for the titular Ellie. Elinor Donahue, who played Sheriff Andy's love interest that first season, would appear in only one more episode, "The Guitar Player Returns." She pops up in just a couple of scenes. (Fittingly, her final line is "Bye-bye.") So, "Ellie Saves a Female" offers Ellie her last turn in the spotlight.

That brings us to the rare sighting. Farmer Flint has a daughter, the "Female" of the title, one Frankie Flint. Ellie gives the farmgirl a makeover. Edris March is delightful in the role.

Which makes it all the more strange that March never appeared on television again. This is the only credit to her name.

Whatever happened to Edris March?

A chance encounter with an Andy fan in 2001 gives us an answer. This fan happened to be wandering the California Mart, a fashion merchandise market in downtown L.A., when they came up Edris March. You see, March had a small business in the building. March co-owned a women's lingerie line called Fame Time. This biographic detail is confirmed by a book on back pain, of all things, 1995 publication Bad Back: Coping for Life. "Myrna Farnum and Edris March, the owners of Fame Time in Los Angeles, phoned," the author writes.

Frankie Flint after her makeover. Edris March would go own to run a lingerie line.

Back to the fan. "I was able to reunite her with Don Knotts that year at the Hollywood Celebrities Show in North Hollywood and also put her in touch with R.G. Armstrong, the well-known character actor that played her father Old Man Flint on The Andy Griffith Show episode," this fan explained in a post authenticating an autographed photo of March.

We also learn that, following her extremely brief stint as a television actress, March "spent 15 years as a dance instructor for Arthur Murray dance studios."

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Nadya92129 26 days ago
This was a very disturbing, misogynist episode of TAGS.
RL Nadya92129 6 days ago
Lighten up people, it's a freaking sitcom. Geez no wonder everything is so screwed up right now, you're actually bringing up a sitcom from 60 years ago. No one was forced to do this episode and it's freaking make believe!! What's next tearing down the Andy statue in North Carolina? Give it a rest and stop ruining everything with your PC b.s.!!!
Tlor 26 days ago
So she did one show and then decided she didn't want to be on TV anymore? The article was kind of a thud. So where was she from, where did she go? Really zero information
Belerina Tlor 26 days ago
I agree! Seems like a computer write the article!!!
DoubleNaughtSpy Tlor 26 days ago
Agreed! What a complete waste of bandwidth. Yet another reason why The Andy Griffith Show is the most overrated, over-appreciated, and way too over-analyzed entry in the annals of the Golden Age of Television.
Gary DoubleNaughtSpy 5 days ago
Overrated? Hardly!
Pacificsun 28 days ago
My guess is the article above was submitted by a fan/reader, and posted by the MeTV Staff. Nice entry, authenticated obscure trivia. And an interesting (and kind) backstory about reuniting Ms. March with Don Knotts and R. G. Armstrong. No doubt a pleasure for all 3 of them! 😉

My only objection (should the guest writer be interested in comments) is that the term "Boob Tube" has always been a misnomer. In the day, used by self-styled critics of what has turned out to be the golden age of television. Snobbery (subtle but snide) expressed begrudgingly in "required" TV Guide reviews of simple TV shows. I just want to remind a current generation, that shows like TAGS often represented the ideals of their times. Not bad aspirations to be sure. Not always a perfect either, when premises played for silly laughs. But still, a window on our history, depicting a lifestyle that included gentility and kindness. Those kinds of productions (little works of art?) are deserving of respect.

To the point, I knew many people of the decade, who would hide their portable TVs in the closet, so their pseudo-intellectualism wouldn't be uncomfortably compromised by such a "wasteful" medium 😉. Thanks heavens those golden aged shows have lived to see this day!
cperrynaples Pacificsun 28 days ago
It all stems from that infamous statement of TV being a "vast Wasteland" by Newton Minnow! Fun Fact: The boat on Gilligan's Island was named for him as an inside joke!
Pacificsun cperrynaples 28 days ago
As you've stated above, this link is (of course) the full context. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Television_and_the_Public_Interest

Where would we be today, if instead of choosing among a few PBS channels in the 60's, there were 400+ of them (through a full spectrum cable service)? And then if we had to hunt for the few networks giving us shows like the ones we treasure on MeTV (and Retro stations)? Would we be a more enlightened, gentile population? Or a society more deadly boring than a thousand hours of "Firing Line?"

Just a thought. 😉
Wiseguy cperrynaples 25 days ago
Actual fact: It's spelled "Newton Minow."
Wiseguy Pacificsun 25 days ago
It's easy to comment on remarks made by those who were actually there witnessing the state of television. Sure, there were great shows then (as in any era) but there was also a lot of garbage on then (again, as in any era). You only know about the shows that have survived the years and are considered classics because of that. Similar to the theory that British TV is better and classier (BritBox!). We only see the best of British TV. Similarly, you only know about (or remember) the best of the so-called "Golden Age of TV."
Pacificsun Wiseguy 22 days ago
Ahh you credit me with being younger than applies to my experience. More importantly I watched how my parents reacted to TV, who were well-educated, avid readers, theater goers, and good conversationalists. Westerns provided true escape from daily stress for my dad. My mom enjoyed well-produced dramas, because they put her in a world of a different kind. Network shows (so labeled as classics) then or now, are in the eye of the beholder. Remembered for both their novelty and naivety (in terms of guessing public taste). Programming was often a roll of the dice. “My Mother the Car,” “It’s About Time,” even “Mr. Ed” among hundreds of examples, with transitory appeal. Crazy premises using over qualified talent. Television was never more than entertainment. But it was a Golden Age because of innovation (technical and experimental). A generation of artists, if not original, could only copy from radio. And so they were forced to innovate in other ways. Even what we see today, not always the “best” is still an important entry in history. Critics of the day could only label what they felt, from being in the moment, and higher aspirations. But the age doesn’t deserve to be discounted for however it might’ve disappointed those with a voice, back in the day!
Fuming cperrynaples 5 days ago
And Newton never got to see the likes of "two and a half men" or "broke girls" .
UTZAAKE 28 days ago
Timeless look pre-makeover, 1950s look post-makeover. So much for makeovers.
ETristanBooth UTZAAKE 28 days ago
Indeed. My students generally think she looked better as the "before." The funny thing about this episode is how her change in appearance prompted an instantaneous and radical change of personality.
Actually I went to school with someone who left for summer holidays a complete geek and came back an outgoing bombshell.
Did everyone consider this an improvement?
Well the guys did. She did look a lot better.
JHP UTZAAKE 27 days ago
yeah before she got those doo-dads she was at least attractive as a tomboy - when she was made up she was a poster girl for halloween
Pacificsun UTZAAKE 26 days ago
I'm sorry, I'm having trouble even believing the "before" picture!
RL Pacificsun 6 days ago
Then watch the episode.
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