Is this the most mysterious lovely lady we ever met in Mayberry?
Josie Lloyd emerged from her father Norman Lloyd's shadow on Alfred Hitchcock Presents, but later she just disappeared.
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Out of all the lovely ladies who ever appeared in Mayberry, we think the actor Josie Lloyd might be the most mysterious.
On The Andy Griffith Show, she appeared four times from 1961 to 1965. For her first two appearances, she played Mayor Pike's daughter, initially called Juanita and then called Josephine. After that, she became the character Lydia Crosswaithe, a "Debbie Downer" who was buddies with Thelma Lou.
As Lydia, most fans know she got to go on a date with Sheriff Andy soon after he breaks up with Peggy in "Barney Mends a Broken Heart." Lydia is one of the first girls Barney sets Andy up with, but her personality just wasn’t the right fit with Andy's nature. We all know he was biding his time, waiting for Helen.
In her final appearance as Lydia, Lloyd got another date with one of Mayberry's most memorable faces: Goober Pyle.
In "Goober and the Art of Love," Goober ends up so nervous, he brings Lydia over to where Andy, Helen, Barney and Thelma Lou are playing bridge. The joke persists throughout the episode that Lydia, again and again, brings the mood down with her dreary talk every time Goober brings her around.
The Andy Griffith Show welcomed Josie Lloyd as a fine actor with charming talents who ended up creating a very colorful character in her portrayal of Lydia Crosswaithe. This was near the very beginning of Lloyd's career, with only one a few TV roles under her belt, starting with a 1959 appearance on Alfred Hitchcock Presents.
No doubt that Lloyd's dad hooked her up with Hitch.
Josie is the daughter of Norman Lloyd, a producer on Alfred Hitchcock Presents and prolific actor who appeared in Hitchcock's series and his films. Josie seemed to be following in her father's footsteps in the Sixties with roles on Alfred Hitchcock Presents, The Twilight Zone, My Three Sons, Route 66, Have Gun – Will Travel and other shows, but then abruptly, in 1967, she stopped acting and shied away from the spotlight into private life for good.
As Lydia Crosswaithe, we were used to seeing Lloyd act modest and demure, but this seemed very different. The actor seemed to be simply done with public life.
And she stuck to it. That's why not much is known about what Lloyd did after she quit acting, and only a little bit is known about her early life. She's a mystery to us, but we did find out a little about what her life was like growing up.
In her dad's autobiography, Stages of Life in Theatre, Film and Television, Norman Lloyd wrote that up until Josie was two years old, she was living with her mother Peggy in New York, while her dad in California prepared for his film debut as the titular villain (with a famous scream and a ripped sleeve) in the Hitchcock movie Saboteur. Lloyd juggled both households, swapping coasts to take roles on Broadway and in Hollywood, right up until he moved his family to Hollywood for good in 1944.
By that point, Josie wasn't even 5 years old, so you could say she pretty much grew up in Hollywood.
The story goes that she started tagging along with Norman to the Alfred Hitchcock Presents set when she was a teenager, and by 19, she had apparently observed enough to secure a speaking part in an episode. Her acting career took off from there, but not much else is known once she stopped taking roles, except a brief mention in a Variety obituary for her mom Peggy Lloyd from 2011 that says Peggy was survived by her two children.
But did you know that before Goober took Lydia out on a date, George Lindsey actually met Josie's father first?
Lindsey also acted in Alfred Hitchcock Presents, working with Norman Lloyd on a segment called "The Jar." Lindsey said when he showed up to audition, they'd already cast the part, but after he read, he was so good that they changed their minds, resulting in some of his favorite acting work he ever did onscreen.
The very next year, Lindsey met Norman's daughter Josie on their big date in Mayberry. That part seemed destined, even if Josie ultimately decided her acting career was not meant to be