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RIP MAGGIE PETERSON (CHARLENE DARLING)

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May 16, 2022 - 3:51:52 PM
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6603 posts since 10/13/2007

Sadly, Charlene Darling , the last of the Andy Griffith Darling family passed away. I loved those times, that show, and the Darling Family episodes (and the Dillards). A great era is leaving us one by one and we are the worse for it.
ken

6. RIP MAGGIE PETERSON (CHARLENE DARLING)

By “Huckabee” pop culture guru Pat Reeder (hollywoodhifi.com)

I’m sad to have to report that on Sunday, one of the last surviving members of “The Andy Griffith Show” cast, Maggie Peterson, passed away at 81. Last July, I wrote about her family setting up a Go Fund Me to help her cope with her medical problems and her husband, musician Gus Mancuso’s, Alzheimers. She took a turn for the worse after his recent death and died peacefully on Sunday, surrounded by family and friends. To those of you who donated in thanks for all the happy memories she gave us, she wanted her fans to know how much it meant to her that their generosity made such a positive impact on her and her husband’s lives and that you helped her not to feel alone.

I can’t find any obituaries up yet, but here’s a statement from her family:

gofundme.com/f/h45wj3-maggie-q...rters-v5b

The only female amidst the “Deliverance”-like Darling clan (her bros played by bluegrass greats The Dillards), Maggie also played a completely different role in an episode of the final season of the show and a third on an episode of “Mayberry RFD.” The same person popping up as different characters was a strange quirk in Mayberry, perhaps due to there not being enough people in small towns to go around.

Maggie would sometimes sing on the show with her sullen, silent siblings, on such memorable tunes as “Salty Dog” and “There Is A Time.” Here’s a delightful YouTube video of a reunion at which they performed the latter: youtu.be/8F8VvG99CH4

She also did commercials; had a regular role on “The Bill Dana Show;” one-shot roles on “The Odd Couple,” “Love American Style” and other TV shows of the era; and parts in the Don Knotts movie “The Love God,” Andy’s film “Angel In My Pocket,” and, of course, the TV movie “Return to Mayberry.” She was sometimes billed as Maggie Mancuso and worked as a location scout.

Maggie was best known as an actress, but actually devoted more time to singing. She started out in a band with her brother Jim and two friends called Margaret Ann and the Ja-Da Quartet. They were noticed at a record convention by Andy Griffith’s manager, who encouraged them to come to New York. That led to some TV variety show shots, a few singles and a 1959 Warner LP called “It’s the Most Happy Sound.” It’s filled with Shakey’s Pizza Parlor style singalongs such as “Swanee River,” “Mississippi Mud” and “My Cutey’s Due at Two to Two Today.”

While touring the Vegas-Tahoe-Reno lounge circuit with a musical act called Margaret Ann and the Ernie Mariani Trio, she was spotted by the Griffith show’s producer and director and asked to play Charlene, and the rest is TV Land history. She was always very grateful to “Griffith” fans for remembering her, and everyone who met her described her as the sweetheart you’ve always imagined her to be. Rest in peace.

May 16, 2022 - 4:00:49 PM
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Jbo1

USA

1139 posts since 5/19/2007

Other than a radio add that featured the banjo, Charlene and her brothers were the reason I first grew to love the banjo and bluegrass music, way before I even knew what it was. And the fact that they made an 8 year old boy laugh was all the better.

I'll miss Charlene... "that one always makes me cry".

May 16, 2022 - 4:33:36 PM

bill t

USA

289 posts since 12/14/2012

From above, "the last of the Andy Griffith Darling family".
Rodney Dillard is still alive, isn't he?

May 16, 2022 - 4:36:12 PM

6603 posts since 10/13/2007

quote:
Originally posted by bill t

From above, "the last of the Andy Griffith Darling family".
Rodney Dillard is still alive, isn't he?


He sure is and playing in Indiana this month. Good point Bill.

ken

May 16, 2022 - 5:48:19 PM
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Players Union Member

banjo bill-e

Tuvalu

12237 posts since 2/22/2007

Everything about the AG show makes me smile today. Thankful for all the wonderful characters and all the laughs.

May 16, 2022 - 9:17:43 PM
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232 posts since 7/22/2012

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