Wait. Is this Officer Jim Reed on The Andy Griffith Show?
Did the Adam-12 star sneak into this scene with Sheriff Andy?
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Kent McCord is best known for playing Officer Jim Reed on Adam-12. With his strong dark eyebrows and firm square chin, he's as handsome as any 1960s TV leading man, and for that reason, he became extremely recognizable to fans once his show debuted in 1968 and it became a big hit.
But before Adam-12 came along, McCord got his first big break on TV by playing himself ("Kent") on The Adventures of Ozzie and Harriet. From 1962 to 1966, he was a recurring character on that popular family sitcom.
And many fans know how McCord got that break. You see, McCord didn't study acting, he was actually a big jock who loved to toss around a football. By chance, this love of sports led him to start getting pulled into pick-up games with major celebrities including Elvis Presley and Ozzie and Harriet rising star Ricky Nelson, and these stars became fast friends with McCord. So they helped him get cast in their projects. In an interview, McCord once talked about this rather whimsical start to his acting career, explaining that once he befriended Nelson, he got really used to just walking into studios and looking for extra work.
So if you look at his film credits, you'll see that while he was appearing on Ozzie and Harriet, he was also taking tiny background parts on Elvis movies, too, while also appearing in completely random projects, including an episode of Star Trek creator Gene Roddenberry's earlier TV series The Lieutenant.
Do you think that makes it perfectly plausible then that he could've just as easily walked onto the set and got some extra work on another big Sixties show?
You see, there’s a scene in The Andy Griffith Show episode "Barney's Uniform" where Kent McCord's biggest fans will swear to you, the Adam-12 star appears.
It happens about 13 minutes into the episode, when Sheriff Andy goes to visit a judo class after Barney gets bullied earlier in the episode. Just as Andy walks into the class, look at the man wearing dark sweats right in front of the room divider between Andy and the rest of the class.
This man has McCord's strong dark eyebrows and firm square chin — but do you think it's really him? For what it's worth, there is no mention of Kent McCord in The Definitive Andy Griffith Show Reference: Episode-by-Episode, with Cast and Production Biographies and a Guide to Collectibles, an invaluable resource for fans.
It would be difficult to say for sure, because it looks like none of McCord's credited projects in 1964 were filmed on the Desilu backlot where The Andy Griffith Show was filmed. And although Roddenberry did go to Desilu to pitch Star Trek in 1964, the same year McCord appeared on Roddenberry's earlier show The Lieutenant, it's unlikely Roddenberry would've brought along one of his extras like one of McCord's loyal football buddies like Elvis or Ricky.
Unless Kent McCord happens to see this post to clarify in the comments, it may just have to remain one of the rare Mayberry mysteries.