R.I.P. Claudette Nevins, sitcom wife to Andy Griffith, M*A*S*H guest star and JAG regular

She (briefly) played the wife of Major Winchester on M*A*S*H.

Images: CBS

Despite crafting one of the most beloved characters in the history of television, Andy Griffith struggled to find his feet after taking off his Mayberry sheriff's uniform. Following the conclusion of The Andy Griffith Show in 1968, Griffith set up his own production company, Andy Griffith Enterprises. He was in his early 40s — about the same age Lucille Ball had been when she came to fame on I Love Lucy. He had plenty of career left in him.

Griffith's first television comeback arrived in 1970 with Headmaster. The show had a lot going for it, beyond the superstar, like a Linda Ronstadt–sung theme song and Hogan's Heroes' recently vacated time slot. The biggest change, for Andy fans at least, was the setting. The dramedy cast Southern boy Griffith as Andy Thompson, the head of an elite California private school. 

A strong supporting cast surrounded the star. Jerry Van Dyke portrayed a coach, in a role foreshadowing his long run on Coach. Thompson's wife, played by Claudette Nevins, was an English teacher.

At the time, Nevins was perhaps best known for her work on the daytime soap opera Love of Life.

Despite its assets, Headmaster flopped, drubbed in the ratings by The Partridge Family.

Nevins later made a memorable guest appearance on M*A*S*H in the episode "Mr. and Mrs. Who?" In that eighth-season story, Winchester marries a woman (Nevins) in a drunken haze on a trip to Tokyo. 

Nevins on M*A*S*H

Small roles on shows such as Barnaby JonesCHiPs, Police Squad! and L.A. Law followed. 

In the 1990s, Nevins landed two recurring roles on hit shows, Melrose Place and JAG. On the former, she was Constance Fielding, an elder relative of Matt Fielding (Doug Savant). On the latter military drama, she was Mrs. Porter Webb, mother to CIA special agent Clayton Webb (Steven Culp).

Nevins died on February 20, her family announced, as reported by The Hollywood Reporter. She was 82.

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musicman37 36 months ago
Probably my favorite M*A*S*H episode. RIP Ms. Nevins.
AgingDisgracefully 41 months ago
A close-up shot of her nose was hilarious on Police Squad.
Because of the EDITING.
I'm not making sport of her nostrils.
MarkSpeck 41 months ago
Another Me-TV appearance for Miss Nevins...an episode of CHiPs. She played a rich lady who tried to fix up her beautiful niece (Joan Prather, the girl who married David on Eight Is Enough) with Jon.
JoeSHill 41 months ago
One of Claudette Nevins obscure credits was as a voiceover in NBC's 1975 animated series, "RETURN TO THE PLANET OF THE APES" that DePatie-Freleng Enterprises and 20th Century Fox Television produced.
jacko3 49 months ago
Claudette Nevins = LORD Bless you ....
Countrygirl 49 months ago
All these actresses and actors are all gone and will be missed dearly
jacko3 50 months ago
Claudette Nevins, - GOD Be With Her ...
Oldiesjunkie72 51 months ago
I would like to see MeTV show shows such as "BJ and the Bear", Who's the Boss?", "Alice", etc
Pacificsun Oldiesjunkie72 51 months ago
I think they were on Antenna TV for awhile. Also check Cozi's schedule.
Dale 51 months ago
Actually Winchester never really "married" her in that M*A*S*H episode as the article implies. He just thought he had because she called to let him know that she was coming to the 4077 and "jokingly" introduced herself as his wife by phone and he was too drunk to remember their total encounter in Tokyo. She revealed after she arrived at the 4077 that they had been married by someone who was NOT ordained
spalding69 51 months ago
She was a sleazy sex book author on the Rockford Files.
Pacificsun spalding69 51 months ago
In other words, she had range!
MaryHelen spalding69 41 months ago
well, actually she wrote books telling wives how to please their husbands, very antifeminist, and used her own husband (played by ed nelson) to promote her books while pretending to have a happy marriage. she hires rockford to find who i trying to kill her; all a hoax for publicity and get her husband's attention. at the end he leaves her.
George 51 months ago
RIP Ms. Nevins . I remember when she played the mom in " The Steve "Grandpa" Kozara story. She mailed it.
DoubleNaughtSpy 51 months ago
Hey, MeTV Programmers!

How about breaking your rigid format and acquiring the rights to "Headmaster" and broadcasting the 14 episodes as part of your next "Summer of Me" campaign? The rights for a show that was such a bomb can't possibly be that expensive. It would be such a welcome break from the umpteenth million broadcast of "The Andy Griffifth Show" repeats!
Rigid Format is right. They could also show the pilot for the Andy Griffith Show, it was a regular episode of the Danny Thomas Show. Pair that with the episode of the Joey Bishop Show where Don Knotts appeared in his Mayberry uniform, billed as "Barney Fife as Deputy Sheriff Don Knotts." How about giving Andy a rest for the summer and run the rarely seen Mayberry RFD
starring Ken Berry. I seem to recall it was on Mayberry RFD that andy and Helen Crump get married.
Wiseguy MikefromJersey 51 months ago
AntennaTV shows the Joey Bishop Show currently so MeTV showing any episode is unlikely.
Pacificsun DoubleNaughtSpy 51 months ago
The impression is that MeTV can just pick and choose programs off the shelf like a library. Obviously any show (rerun or not) still has to be marketable. It's not so much MeTV has a "rigid format" but a proven schedule that appeals to most viewers interested in classic TV. An only 14 episode run might not be marketable (obtainable through a distribution service) which is also a complicated system of package deals, while not in conflict with other providers. What used to work nicely on MeTV (but many years ago now) was the revolving format (like MacMillan & Wife/McCloud, etc.), but again that was a package deal which MeTV didn't individually compile.
MaryHelen Pacificsun 41 months ago
maybe they could show those episodes, repeating them over the marathon weekend on ch 26.6
cynkgreen DoubleNaughtSpy 41 months ago
Well there are some of these old shows that one can never seem to get enough of, no matter how many times they start the series over from the beginning! I think I'm on my 3rd or 4th go round of several & still see some episodes I missed, & others I'm happy to see again!
Oh well, seem crazy but...
Pacificsun cynkgreen 41 months ago
I think that's true. Not in an obsessive compulsive way. But I see them as returning friends. As in, you always have something in common with them (familiarity). And the way MeTV writes about them, sometimes there's something new to be noticed. I don't know of any other network (except Weigel sister stations) who highlight and showcase their recurring schedule in the way MeTV does! And the comments feature (is smart) because it creates conversation around the topics!! I've been following since 2014. And it's greatly evolved 😉.
wyne 51 months ago
She'll be greatly appreciated and missed
Jon 51 months ago
R.I.P. to Ms. Nevins. I first remember seeing her as whom I consider the nastiest villain faced by ElectraWoman & DynaGirl, The Empress of Evil. She looked very different in that part, fitted w/ a blond wig & lots of makeup. Michael Constantine & Peter Mark Richman, EWDG's 2-time villains The Sorcerer & The Pharoah respectively, are both still w/ us at age 90+.
Piratesghost1 51 months ago
Just Now
Rest in peace Ms.Nevins. Now you can be with your Legendary beloved husband Andy. God Bless.
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