Ron Howard reunited with Opie's first housekeeper on Happy Days
Rose never returned to Mayberry, but she popped up on Happy Days!
One of the cruelest truths in the history of The Andy Griffith Show arrives in the classic series' very first scenes. As Opie watches his beloved housekeeper Rose getting hitched, he cannot contain an outburst that ends with Rose gently promising she'd come back to visit often.
Only Rose never came back. Fans of the show who rewatch the episodes recognize this promise as empty words.
To be fair, though, Opie didn't really seem to be bothered much by Rose's absence once he and Aunt Bee started getting along so well.
The actress who played Rose, Mary Treen, did make it back to Mayberry. She just snuck back as an entirely different character for two first-season episodes.
In "Ellie for Council" and "Those Gossipin' Men," we are reintroduced to Treen as a Mayberry resident named Clara Lindsey, one of those "gossipin' women" who hangs around Walker's Drugstore. (Just be a good audience member and forget you saw her as a prominent dramatic character in the premiere.)
Treen had a prolific career as a prominent character actor, and her last appearance on The Andy Griffith Show was in 1961. After that, we did see her again as a housekeeper more than a decade later, only for a very different classic TV family.
With Treen filling in for Alice on The Brady Bunch in a 1972 episode called "Goodbye, Alice, Hello," the plot reads a little like the reverse of The Andy Griffith Show's "The New Housekeeper."
In that Brady Bunch episode, Alice is replaced by a new housekeeper played by Treen, only to eventually return to the family she loves. That's what Opie wished would have happened in The Andy Griffith Show premiere!
Then, three short years later, we finally saw Ron Howard and Mary Treen back under the same roof in yet another classic family sitcom.
In the Happy Days episode "Howard's 45th Fiasco," Howard Cunningham is experiencing a mild mid-life crisis when his 45th birthday comes around. This is only made worse when his family decides to turn his birthday into an evening celebrating Mr. C by creating an experience similar to This Is Your Life. The Cunninghams bring in a parade of people to talk about Mr. C at different points in his life.
Richie serves as host, introducing each special guest, and among them is a teacher named Miss Prism, who we're told was Howard's third-grade teacher. This is the moment when we see Howard and Treen reunite, with Howard's arm around Treen, guiding her into the room after accidentally bonking her on the nose by opening the door with too much forceful enthusiasm.
Throughout the scene, Ron Howard beams, smiling at Treen, as her comedic character Miss Prism draws laugh after laugh, fussily recounting Mr. C's terrible performance in a third-grade spelling bee.
Levity was what Treen was best known for as a character actress, which is funny because many classic TV fans might best remember her as a rather prim and proper character who abandoned her post as Opie's caretaker.
Acting across from Ronny Howard, Treen's full range is on display when watching the actors share both their memorable first goodbye and their eventual silly reunion. The Mayberry spirit seemed to remain with Treen throughout her career, as she once explained how she managed working around so many celebrities: "I like people and always go out of my way to get along with everyone."