This Andy Griffith Show actress appeared on television just the one time
So what happened to Edris March of ''Ellie Saves a Female''?
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"Ellie Saves a Female," an episode of The Andy Griffith Show from late in the first season, seems like a run-of-the-mill sitcom installment of the early 1960s. Barney has a run-in with some cute baby pigs. Andy gets spritzed with a perfume called Midnight Madness.
The more interesting storylines were perhaps happening behind the scenes. The episode offered up a college reunion, a farewell of sorts, and a very rare sighting.
R.G. Armstrong, a relative newcomer with credits on several Westerns like Maverick, The Rifleman and Have Gun – Will Travel under his belt, played Farmer Flint. The character actor had close ties to Andy himself. Armstrong attended the University of North Carolina – Chapel Hill, where he honed his thespian skills as a member of the Carolina Playmakers. Fellow Tarheel alum Griffith was a member of the very same theater ensemble. The two chums had a chance to work together on the boob tube.
Meanwhile, "Ellie Saves a Female" would be a swan song of sorts for the titular Ellie. Elinor Donahue, who played Sheriff Andy's love interest that first season, would appear in only one more episode, "The Guitar Player Returns." She pops up in just a couple of scenes. (Fittingly, her final line is "Bye-bye.") So, "Ellie Saves a Female" offers Ellie her last turn in the spotlight.
That brings us to the rare sighting. Farmer Flint has a daughter, the "Female" of the title, one Frankie Flint. Ellie gives the farmgirl a makeover. Edris March is delightful in the role.
Which makes it all the more strange that March never appeared on television again. This is the only credit to her name.
Whatever happened to Edris March?
A chance encounter with an Andy fan in 2001 gives us an answer. This fan happened to be wandering the California Mart, a fashion merchandise market in downtown L.A., when they came up Edris March. You see, March had a small business in the building. March co-owned a women's lingerie line called Fame Time. This biographic detail is confirmed by a book on back pain, of all things, 1995 publication Bad Back: Coping for Life. "Myrna Farnum and Edris March, the owners of Fame Time in Los Angeles, phoned," the author writes.
Back to the fan. "I was able to reunite her with Don Knotts that year at the Hollywood Celebrities Show in North Hollywood and also put her in touch with R.G. Armstrong, the well-known character actor that played her father Old Man Flint on The Andy Griffith Show episode," this fan explained in a post authenticating an autographed photo of March.
We also learn that, following her extremely brief stint as a television actress, March "spent 15 years as a dance instructor for Arthur Murray dance studios."