Tatum O'Neal perfectly described the allure of her mother, Joanna Moore of The Andy Griffith Show

"She was extraordinarily beautiful," her daughter gushed.

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Peggy McMillan had a surprisingly brief stay in Mayberry. Introduced in "Andy's Rich Girlfriend," the sheriff's love interest stuck around for four measly episodes. Following the departure of Ellie Walker (Elinor Donahue) at the end of season one, Joanna Moore's charming Peggy seemed like she just might be "the one" for Andy. 

Even in what turned out to be her final scene, at the end of "Opie's Rival," sparks flew between Andy and Peggy as Opie dropped the big "L" word. The trio are enjoying a picnic, singing the song "Cindy" by a campfire as Andy strums his guitar. (You can watch the scene above.)

"You like pa?" Opie asks. "Sure I do," she responds. "Do you love him?" the precocious kid spits back. Peggy raises her eyebrows and gives Andy a knowing look.

Not reading the adult body language, Opie rambles on, "Pa needs the companionship of a fine, young woman. Someone he can take to a dance. He can't take Barney to a dance. No, Barney's too short." Opie explains that his pa is going to marry again someday and that special someone might be Peggy. "Of course, it might be you and it might not," he notes.

To this day, a sizable portion of fans wishes that it had been Peggy who tied the knot with Sheriff Andy, not Helen Crump (Aneta Corsaut), who was introduced a couple of months later on The Andy Griffith Show.

Moore simply lit up the screen. It was a trait wonderfully described by (and passed on to) her daughter, Tatum O'Neal, the youngest person to ever win an Oscar for Best Actress.

"She was extraordinarily beautiful, with blond hair, a perfect heart-shaped face, huge green eyes, and lush full lips. She had a smoky, seductive voice (which Emily and I both inherited) warmed by her Southern lilt," O'Neal wrote in her memoir, A Paper Life.

O'Neal went to describe her mother's impressionable scene in Orson Welles' A Touch of Evil. "Though my mother is on screen for only a short time in the film, she is masterful as the victim's daughter," she gushed. "My father [Ryan O'Neal] always said that my mother was the best actor in the family, but it was only after she died that I came to recognize her power." That's high praise for a member of that family.

Moore's allure was just as powerful behind-the-scenes as it was in theaters. Her male costars were routinely smitten with her. "She had to dodge Charlton Heston, who once lured her to his room," O'Neal revealed. She said that Elvis Presley tried to break down her door while the two were filming Follow That Dream in 1962. Though O'Neal did not detail this in A Paper Life, it is rumored that Andy Griffith had similar heartthrobs for his costar.

According to Daniel de Visé's insightful 2015 book Andy and Don: The Making of a Friendship and a Classic American TV Show, "[Aneta Corsaut] wasn't Andy's first affair with a Griffith costar. He had told Don [Knotts] of at least one other: Joanna Moore, the Georgia beauty and future mother of Tatum O'Neal, cast in four episodes at the start of season three as a potential girlfriend for the television sheriff."

In a 1962 interview with the Akron Beacon Journal, Moore shared her own love for The Andy Griffith Show: "I liked the Griffith show better than anything else I've ever done. Everyone on the program is so nice. The show is well organized and there is no rush. The people discuss their problems openly and the difficulties just seem to disappear. I was shocked by the honesty on that show, but it was a refreshing kind of honesty."

So why did Peggy McMillan leave Mayberry? Fan speculation abounds, but there is no clear answer. She married Ryan O'Neal shortly after her appearance on the show and had no shortage of other roles. How strange that her final moment with Andy and Opie would be happily sipping hot cocoa and talking marriage.

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MarshaStapleton 40 months ago
Although county nurse Mary Simpson was played by 2 different actresses, I much preferred Sue Ane Langdon's Mary. She seemed like a much more "Mayberryian" type of gal than Adams, who struck me as a bit too on the sophisticated side.
Shatner1 42 months ago
In order--1) Elly---2) Peggy--3)Mary-=Sue Ane Langdon--4)Mary--Julie Adams--5) Sarah the operator--6)Emma Watson-7) Sam--Floyd's dog--8)The fly that dies after landing on Aunt Bee's piclkle.--9)The bear that climbs into the squad car--10) Helen Crump.
kcinks 43 months ago
Ok Angel ,I see now what you meant....these are hilarious. It seems you may have some true rivals in The Mayberry challenge!
OMG sweetheart, I so love you for pointing this out, it's endless hilarity
jorel 43 months ago
Peggy will always be my favorite. She and Andy seemed to have real chemistry. She was sexy but also funny. I loved how she seemed to shake when she laughed. It's a shame but at least we got to see her in four episodes.
EdwardCelestinPutz 43 months ago
Joanna Moore had a real, unspoken, sexiness about her. I think that Tatum hit the target in her description of her mother.
Joanna was in such high demand in the 50's and 60's tv shows ,it was any wonder she had time to have kids. She was quite a tease.
speedster16 speedster16 43 months ago
On the RIFLEMAN episode OBITUARY,she got her jealous husband killed for flirting with LUCAS.
RobBush 43 months ago
Tatum actually won her Oscar as best supporting actress, not for best actress. Glenda Jackson won best actress for A Touch of Class.
Coopie 43 months ago
When will Me TV bring back my favorite show Love Boat I was looking forward to watch it on Sunday's at.6pm.
F5Twitster 43 months ago
"Moore's allure was just as powerful behind-the-scenes as it was in theaters. Her male costars were routinely smitten with her. "She had to do[d]ge Charlton Heston [while making "Touch of Evil"], who once lured her to his room," O'Neal revealed."

I detest Heston's politics, but the above is so out of character for him, both because he wasn't the sort to cheat on his wife, Lydia, but also because he was a consummate professional who deplored a lack of professionalism in his co-workers, that I don't believe a word of what O'Neal says, whether she got the erroneous and scurrillous information from her mother, or her father. Above all, he was a courtly and thoughtful man, and it's inconceivable that he'd behave in this way (add to that that there are no secrets than can be kept for long on a film set).

Tatum O'Neal's statement is pure rubbish.
MikefromJersey 43 months ago
MeTV Guys,
Maybe you guys could do a "Story" section on "Why Does Every TAGS Fan Dislike Helen Crump"?
I used to think it was just me as Corsault really gets up my nose. There is no way in heck the writers
wrote Crump as an up herself, cold, distant, humorless scold. She made that choice as an actress
on purpose, someone should have told her she was on a comedy. Stalin had better comedic chops.
And sex appeal? Jamie Farr in a revealing yet tasteful frock would have been more believable as an alluring teacher catching Andy's eye than Grumpy Crump. Well, if he shaved his shoulders first.
ncadams27 MikefromJersey 43 months ago
Helen Crump was when TAGS jumped the shark. Juanita Beasley was funnier - and we never saw her.
MikefromJersey ncadams27 43 months ago
Wait, we know the last name of Juanita at the diner? How did you know it's "Juanita Beasley".
kbpooky MikefromJersey 10 months ago
My husband laughs because I can’t STAND Helen Crump. She acts just like my step-mother…. an uppity, bossy school teacher who thinks she is above everybody in town. I always thought Andy should marry “Karen” (Thelma Lou’s cousin) the skeet champion. She seemed like a perfect match for him.
MikefromJersey kbpooky 10 months ago
Good choice, you should go into the match making business. How about you set up Grumpy
Crumpy with Mr. Potter from "It's A Wonderful Life"? Together they could turn Mayberry
into a dystopian nightmare, with Otis and Goober shaking down the merchants for a
piece of the action.
FrankCollins 43 months ago
Yes, Joanna Moore was very beautiful. She was the second most beautiful woman to ever appear on the Andy Griffith show. The most beautiful woman who ever appeared on the show, was Miss San Francisco of 1951.
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cinamac jvf 43 months ago
I completely agree...although Barbara Eden was beautiful, she was just too obvious. That’s why many preferred Elizabeth Montgomery’s Samantha to Barbara Eden’s Jeannie!
STTOS FrankCollins 43 months ago
Andy's description of the beautiful Barbara Eden is one of the funniest moments on TAGS. And Susan Oliver was also beautiful both on TAGS and Star Trek but I would like to nominated another as THE most beautiful woman to appear on TAGS. The lovely Julie Adams.
jvf STTOS 43 months ago
Yes, Julie Adams was beautiful.
Krn jvf 43 months ago
RichardMaceAnderson 43 months ago
Joanna Moore was beautiful for sure. And in retrospect, I think she was a much closer match for Andy than Helen Crump. Miss Crump always seemed to be angry about one thing or another. And not what one might call "A sexy woman". Peggy, on the other hand, oozed sexuality. I was sorry to read about some of thee personal problems that Joanna Moore lived with. Problems with alcohol and pills. And she was a heavy smoker. I don't think she enjoyed a very happy life despite her successful acting career.
WilliamUchtman 43 months ago
I liked Peggy, but I wanted Andy to get together with Elly. She was one of my first tTV loves. I shudder to think how Opie survived once Helen stuck her claws into Andy.
robert WilliamUchtman 43 months ago
Ellie was fresh out of Father Knows Best and was way too young for Andy Taylor. There was no chemistry between them at all.
Pacificsun robert 43 months ago
I don't think Ms. Donahue wanted the role badly enough. My hunch is she had higher aspirations (nothing wrong with that). And realized that TAGS was a specific box where you either fit in comfortably or not. In more ways than not.

Helen Crump was awkward. A good actress. But yes, with a certain chip on her shoulder she played off of frequently. Kind of like one of the few running protagonists for Andy. But it got tiresome. Because she didn't have enough dimension.
Sooner 43 months ago
She was a gorgeous woman, with a gentle Southern accent that could send testosterone gushing through a guy's body! Helen always seemed much to me, like her last name.
ValpoPJ 43 months ago
Among Andy's love interests, Peggy was my favorite. I never cared much for Helen.
TomBurkhart 43 months ago
yup she was a perfect one.......i got her confused with annie oakley tho.......the one that had him in a Skeet shoot. forgot her name......she was another good catch for Andy
Piglet TomBurkhart 43 months ago
The lady who was in the skeet shoot episode was the same character - Peggy McMillan.
calnative Piglet 43 months ago
Gail Davis played the character Karen Moore (Thelma Lou's cousin) in the skeet shoot episode.
Scott 43 months ago
Wasn't Peggy McMillan also the name of Susan St James' character on McMillan & Wife?
gshbri Scott 43 months ago
No her name was Sally McMillan
Scott gshbri 43 months ago
You are correct. Susan played 'Peggy' on 'The Name of the Game,' which was before Mc & Wife. My error!
WhiteRook 43 months ago
Joanna Moore was a class act and lite up both small and big screens, Her uncredited roll on the movie "Nevada Smith" with Steve McQueen showed off her full range as a actress.

F5Twitster WhiteRook 43 months ago
Uncredited ROLE.
caleb53 44 months ago
A voice that would melt ice cream. 💖😎
F5Twitster caleb53 43 months ago
Well, everything melts ice cream.
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