Elizabeth MacRae had to ''relearn'' her Southern accent to play Lou-Ann Poovie

The well-educated performer utilized method acting to play Gomer's girlfriend.

Read to Me

The summer of 1967 was called by some "The Summer of Love," but for the cast of Gomer Pyle, U.S.M.C., it was time for a work field trip. In the late days of summer, Jim Nabors and company crossed the country to Washington, D.C., to film a few episodes of the military sitcom for its fourth season. It was the first time the show shot outside of California. The special occasion also called for a musical number — Jim Nabors belting out "The Impossible Dream."

The fourth season was a big one for the Andy Griffith Show spin-off. That year, Elizabeth MacRae saw her role upgraded on the series. "Lou-Ann… has escalated to recurring appearances as Gomer's girlfriend," an article in the Press and Sun-Bulletin wrote. 

MacRae had previously appeared three times on Gomer Pyle, but now she would be a more permanent presence. So much so that MacRae was the one being profiled in newspapers to promote the fourth season. The reporter sat down with the actress to discuss her blossoming career, and she shared some interesting details about her rise to fame.

The writer explains that MacRaw was "born in North Carolina, where the MacRaes have been fixtures for generations." In other words, she came from money. She attended board school out of state. After graduating, she asked her father for funds so she could pursue her dream in New York. Speaking of cash:

"Daddy gave me $100 and told me to come home when it was gone," she said. "But I got a job modeling within a week and started studying drama and speech to lose my Southern accent." For her first television role, she landed a role on the anthology series Rendezvous in 1959. She was flown to London for the part. "Rolls-Royces, elegant hotels — they threw in the works," she gushed. "I stayed two months and loved it."

The fancy schooling and first-class world travel worked. Perhaps too well. MacRae lost her accent — and had to gain it back for Gomer!

"I've had to learn my Southern accent all over again," she confessed to the paper.

It may have been lighthearted comedy, but Gomer Pyle relied on her academic acting training. She explained that she utilized the Stanislavski approach to acting, the foundations of "method acting" — you know, like Marlon Brando — "right down to Lou-Ann Poovie's fluttering hands and wide baby-blue-eyed stare."

Who says Gomer Pyle isn't high art?


Watch Gomer Pyle, U.S.M.C. on MeTV!

Weeknights at 9 PM
Saturdays at 5 AM & 5:30 AM

*available in most MeTV markets
 
Are you sure you want to delete this comment?
Close

48 Comments

Post a comment
Mark091 3 months ago
I liked the Lou Ann Poovie episodes of GOMER PYLE USMC that I recorded
All 15 Lou Ann Poovie episodes on an
8 hour VHS tape over 10 years ago. And I recorded BUNNY Harper Olson
Wilson episodes on one 6 hour tape.
I also have several tapes of the Best
Of CPL Nick Cuccinelli Tommy Leonetti Cpl Boyle Roy Stuart and
CPL Duke Slater and l also have all
150 episodes of GP on VHS and DVDs
Of GP also have episodes of
GOMER PYLE USMC Happy Days
I Dream of Jeannie The Adventures of OZZIE and Harriet and other Practical
Joker episodes on several PRACTICAL
JOKERS Tapes including The Dick Van
Dyke Show ACTUALLY Lou Ann Poovie is a great character and
Elizabeth MacRae is a wonderful
Actress .
retired2019 3 months ago
She could have been nicer to Gomah
F5Twitster 3 months ago
"The writer explains that MacRaw was 'born in North Carolina, where the MacRaes have been fixtures for generations.' In other words, she came from money. She attended board school out of state."

That's McRae and boardING school
Moriyah F5Twitster 3 months ago
There's something that I want to show you that wasn't in the story: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_people_from_Columbia,_South_Carolina#Film_and_acting
WandaBaker 3 months ago
I liked the LouAnn character but I've never heard a Southern accent like hers. It didn't sound authentic.
Timothy 3 months ago
If that was a southern accent , she was the only person in the world using it. She had the stupidest sounding accent and so annoying. I would turn off any episode she was on
Load previous comments
cperrynaples Wiseguy 3 months ago
Actually Wiseguy, Moriyah is really Matthew MacConahey...LOL!
Moriyah Wiseguy 3 months ago
I hope you're not trying to say I'm being ignorant because that's not what I was trying to do
Wiseguy tadlem 3 months ago
People who are obsessed over anything including a TV show can't be expected to be objective.
Wiseguy Moriyah 3 months ago
The only thing I tried to say is what I said. If you didn't get the message, reread it.
JHP 3 months ago
hate to say it - always appeared to me "on" something....maybe wacky tobacky
AllisonWunderland JHP 3 months ago
Or...maybe she didn't have enough 😆
Jesse 3 months ago
GPUSMC was a gem of a TV show. Entertaining, funny and with a huge heart. It only ended because Nabors was ready to move on. Sometimes I think the real star of the show was Frank Sutton. He was absolutely amazing as Sgt. Carter.
MikefromJersey Jesse 3 months ago
Jesse,
Sutton nailed his part in the classic movie Marty, everybody knew a guy like his character.
He was also a noted intellectual with a giant personal library and a gent, you can't find one
bad word about him.
MrsPhilHarris 3 months ago
I like the character. Think she’s fun.
RedSamRackham 3 months ago
* She was also the voice of LADY FISH in The Incredible Mr. Limpet and was briefly Howard Sprague's girlfriend on 1 Andy Griffith episode. ☺ BTW Donna Douglas had to regain her southern accent for Beverly Hillbillies! ☺
HopeChinWah RedSamRackham 3 months ago
Donna was born in Texas why did she have to reclaim her southern accent?
BrittReid HopeChinWah 3 months ago
Donna Douglas was born in Louisiana.
Nadya92129 3 months ago
Loved Gomer on TAGS, but Gomer Pyle, USMC was gruesome.
Moriyah Nadya92129 3 months ago
I hope you're not trying to say that you don't like Gomer Pyle, U.S.M.C.! Because that's my favorite show, and I like him the best on there!
cabugi Nadya92129 3 months ago
I never cared for it either. But, thankfully there is always something for everyone!
OlgaBagley 3 months ago
Jim Nabors had a beautiful Singing voice
Moriyah OlgaBagley 3 months ago
Yep! He sure did!
ScoobyDoo169 3 months ago
I think it's a fake accent. It sounds like she's trying to hard, when she lost it she really did lose it. I don't know why people see country accents in such a bad light. I have a country accent and I wouldn't want to change it because it's different. If everyone had no accent that would be quite boring. Everyone likes all the other accents except for country but I think it's the coolest one.😎
Moriyah ScoobyDoo169 3 months ago
Please don't say that about her accent! That's like saying "I don't like you because of your accent" or something like that. I like her accent, it sounds really nice and calming. But I do agree with you on the fact that if there were no people with an accent, then it would be pretty boring like that.
tadlem Moriyah 3 months ago
Why do you think people don't have the right to say what they like and don't like? If you don't like it, you have to tell them to not say it? Just don't read it. You have every right to not like it or be offended. Let people have their own opinions.
Moriyah tadlem 3 months ago
Alright, thanks
cabugi ScoobyDoo169 3 months ago
Love Southern Accents 🥰
Wiseguy Moriyah 3 months ago
You like her accent because it was on Gomer Pyle. If it was on a show you didn't like (every show but Gomer Pyle?) you might not. As I said, you can't be objective.
Moriyah Wiseguy 3 months ago
I like other shows too! It's just that I'm so obsessed with Gomer Pyle, and I could like that lady's accent on other shows as well, who knows
harlow1313 3 months ago
Well, I guess I am a contrarian. I always found the Poovie character's accent it be unpleasantly artificial.

I do, however, feel great affinity for the Christ-like character of Gomer Pyle.
Moriyah harlow1313 3 months ago
Why thanks
harlow1313 harlow1313 3 months ago
"to be," not "it be." Even when I proof read, sadly I sometimes fail.
Mark091 3 months ago
My two favorite TV actresses were
Elizabeth MacRae (Lou Ann Poovie
On Homer Pyle USMC ) and Dawn
Wells Mary Ann Summers on
Gilligan's Island 1938 -2020).
My favorite movie actresses were
Marian Marsh and Tuesday Weld.
The show GOMER PYLE USMC
Was a wonderful show to watch
And Elizabeth MacRae playing
LOU ANN POOVIE was a welcome
Addition to the cast .
Also Mary Ann Summers Dawn
Wells was the prettiest castaway of
All time. Elizabeth MacRae made guest appearances on Andy Griffith
Show I Dream of Jeannie ETC
The chemistry between Sgt Carter
Frank Sutton and Cpl Boyle Roy
Stuart and Sgt Carter and Cpl Nick
Cuccinelli Tommy Leonetti was
Great . But the chemistry between
Lou Ann and GOMER PYLE was
Fantastic . On Gilligan's Island
Mary Ann Summers Dawn Wells
And Gilligan Bob Denver made a
Very cute couple.
justjeff Mark091 3 months ago
HOMER Pyle? LOL! Are you trying to compete with the MeTV article writer who referred to her as "MacRaw"???

Welcome to the typo club! By the way, I am President-Emeritus!
cperrynaples Mark091 3 months ago
Are you sure you weren't making a sneaky gay joke? Change the ER to another vowel and you'll get it! Personally, I think Jim's expression says it all...LOL!
Moriyah cperrynaples 3 months ago
Did you see the link I posted in the very first comment? I'll post it right here to save you some time: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_people_from_Columbia,_South_Carolina#Film_and_acting
Wiseguy Mark091 3 months ago
Better watch it. You put ten words on a single line. Forgot to press the enter key?
Andybandit 3 months ago
Cool story, she was a pretty lady.
Moriyah 3 months ago
That was an interesting story! I heard she was born in Columbia, SC and not NC. I'll prove it to you. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_people_from_Columbia,_South_Carolina#Film_and_acting
Are you sure you want to delete this comment?