R.I.P. Kim Tyler, former child star of 'Please Don't Eat the Daisies' and 'The Andy Griffith Show'
He played Opie's chum Billy Gray.
Read to Me
In "One-Punch Opie," a rough new kid comes to town named Steve Quincy. Mayberry's new bully leads Opie and his pals to a life of delinquency. Sheriff Andy is having none of that. He rounds up the boys and his son and chastises them in the police station.
"Let me say I'm mighty surprised at all you boys," Andy begins. "Billy Gray, Carter and the rest of you…"
Standing to the far right, wearing a tattered old derby hat, is Billy Gray, played by Kim Tyler. When Andy asks where Steve Quincy is, Billy Gray spits back, "Steve Quincy didn't want to come. Said he didn't have to." With his freckled, gapped teeth and tough demeanor, Tyler is the spitting image of a tough street kid. Even if the "mean streets" here are downtown Mayberry.
This 1962 episode was one of the earliest TV roles for the child actor. Around that time, he had a small recurring role on The Adventures of Ozzie and Harriet playing, well, "Kim," as that sitcom liked to call its cast by their real names.
Further bit roles on The Addams Family (he played neighbor boy Harold Pomeroy, who was having a birthday party in "The Addams Family Tree") and My Three Sons (he was a fellow boy scout in "One of Our Moose Is Missing") led to a big gig. In 1965, the Hollywood-born kid landed a lead role in Please Don't Eat the Daisies, the sitcom adaptation of the hit 1960 Doris Day film.
The series had a lot in common with My Three Sons. Well, there were four sons, technically, not to mention a mom, but the big, shaggy dogs were quite similar. There were also touches of The Brady Bunch, as well, with a live-in housekeeper (played by Ellen Corby of The Waltons!), though the Bradys did not come along for another half-decade.
Tyler portrayed the eldest son of the Nash clan, Kyle. He was just 11 years old when the sitcom kicked off. When the series ended after two seasons, so too did Tyler's acting career. It would be his last screen role.