Years after portraying Andy Griffith's wife, Aneta Corsaut played her final role on Matlock
Once a TV teacher, she worked her way up to judge.
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It was a match made in Mayberry. The local sheriff falls in love with the pharmacist. There was just one problem with this small-town romance. The actors in the roles had no chemistry.
The relationship between Andy Taylor and Ellie Walker was intended to span multiple seasons of The Andy Griffith Show. Elinor Donahue, fresh off of Father Knows Best, was signed to a three-year contract, without having to read for her role of the "lady druggist." However, she asked to be released from her contract. "I didn't feel I was doing my best," she later admitted. "It was not my best work." She admitted she was exhausted. "I had hoped they'd say, 'Oh, please…!'" But the star of the show, Andy Griffith, just didn't click with his onscreen love interest.
Griffith's Sheriff Andy had a couple other short-lived flings before his bride-to-be was introduced. The character fell in love with Opie's schoolteacher, Helen Crump, as portrayed by Aneta Corsaut.
Corsaut had a couple notable credits to her name — starring with Steve McQueen in The Blob, and a regular role on sitcom called Mrs. G Goes to College. By all accounts, Griffith and Corsaut hit it off. Daniel De Visé's 2015 biography Andy & Don: The Making of a Friendship and a Classic American TV Show revealed that Griffith and Corsaut engaged in a love affair. So, when the two kiss at the altar in the first episode of Mayberry R.F.D., "Andy and Helen's Wedding," the acting was perhaps not so difficult.
After a couple guest spots on Mayberry R.F.D., Corsaut continued to pick up small roles here and there on television throughout the 1970s. She was briefly Officer Pete Malloy's (Martin Milner) girlfriend on Adam-12. She turned up in a handful of Emergency!s.
In 1980, Corsaut again landed a regular role on the medical sitcom House Calls, starring alongside Wayne Rogers in his post-M*A*S*H phase. The former Mayberry schoolteacher was now playing a head nurse.
When that role wrapped, Corsaut made just two other one-episode appearances on television before Andy came calling again. In 1986, she reunited with her fictional husband Andy Taylor for the TV movie Return to Mayberry. She later reteamed with Griffith on his hit comeback series, Matlock.
In what would be her final acting role, Corsaut shared scenes with Griffith as Judge Cynthia Justin. You can spot her behind her bench in four mysteries, including the two-parter "The Evening News." A few years later, Corsaut would pass away from cancer. She had never married.