The fancy French waiter from The Andy Griffith Show also served Gomer, Laverne and more
Roger Til played a maître d' on shows from the Sixties through Nineties!
Talk about typecasting! Roger Til turned up as a maître d' or waiter so often on television, we wonder if strangers gave him entree orders on the street. Don't feel bad for not knowing his name. Heck, we had to look it up. You might not have even paid close attention to him as he waited tables in sitcoms for decades. But you probably remember his first big scene as a restaurant worker.
In "Andy and Barney in the Big City," the sheriff and deputy head to the sprawling metropolis (well, compared to Mayberry) of Raleigh. The two dine in a fancy French restaurant. Andy orders a steak, baked potato and green beans. Trying to seem sophisticated, Barney points to two fancy words on his menu — and ends up with snails and brains.
The waiter in that scene is Roger Til. His accent is not fake. The actor was born in Paris and earned his earliest screen credits in French productions like Le tampon du capiston and Les mémoires de la vache Yolande. In the mid-'50s, he made the hop to Hollywood. You can find him on The Donna Reed Show and Dragnet. As an interesting side note, Til also provided the French voice for Jimmy Stewart in some movie overdubs for overseas.
But The Andy Griffith Show established him as a fancy restaurant man, typically in a white or black coat. The Andy spin-off Gomer Pyle U.S.M.C. used him several times as a maître d' and waiter. Here he is in "A Little Chicken Soup Wouldn't Hurt."
Til continued to act into the 1990s. His final TV role came on Parker Lewis Can't Lose. He played — you guessed it — a "Head Waiter."
In between, the silver-haired sophisticate waited tables on everyone from Laverne & Shirley to Jaime Sommers, the Bionic Woman. Take a look:
That's not all! He also played essentially the same role a few times on Hart to Hart (he was even a sommelier in that Eighties staple), Trapper John, M.D. and Silver Spoons.
By that point, he probably provided his own bowtie.