The first housekeeper in The Andy Griffith Show was a familiar face from It's a Wonderful Life
From Jimmy Stewart to Andy Griffith, it was quite a career.
Read to Me
Frank Capra and Mayberry — are there two pieces of entertainment more quintessentially American than It's a Wonderful Life and The Andy Griffith Show? The two classics share more than common values and mean old rich men like Mr. Potter and Ben Weaver. There is an interesting casting connection, too.
Rose Pine may have spent little time onscreen on The Andy Griffith Show, but Opie sure loved her. She was one of the first characters ever seen on the show and appears in the early scenes of the series premiere, "The New Housekeeper." Aunt Bee, of course, would be Sheriff Andy's new housekeeper. Rose was the old housekeeper. She marries Wilbur Pine in the courthouse and moves out of the Taylor home.
Sad to see Rose leave, Opie objects to the marriage, earning the first big laugh of the series.
"Don't you fret. You're not losing me forever," Rose consoles Opie. "I'll come back and visit a lot."
Well, she didn't. However, Mary Treen, the actress who portrayed Rose, did return to Mayberry. She played Clara Lindsey in two later episodes, "Ellie for Council" and "Those Gossipin' Men." Funny how those old TV shows pulled tricks like that.
Treen was a veteran actor, with credits dating back to 1930. Her notable big-screen roles included sharing the screen with Gary Cooper in Casanova Brown (1944) and Ginger Rogers in Kitty Foyle (1940).
But when it comes to her movie career, you are most likely to recognize her face in It's a Wonderful Life, that perennial holiday gem. Treen played George's Cousin Tilly. They worked together at the Building and Loan, where she was a telephone operator.
Rose Pine may not have returned to Mayberry, but Mary Treen did find other work as a housekeeper on TV. In 1962, she landed her biggest role, as Hilda on The Joey Bishop Show. She was Joey's maid, trading barbs and one-liners with the Rat Pack star for three years.
Treen continued to appear in small TV roles, up until The Fall Guy in 1981.
Oh, and she did reunite with Ron Howard. She played Miss Prism in the Happy Days episode "Howard's 45th Fiasco."