One interesting thing about the show is that some characters are so strong you think they were in scores of episodes yet, in reality, they were in very few. Of the 249 episodes (250 if you count the Pilot which I do) filmed only Andy himself appeared in all of them. To me, it was surprising that Ron Howard came in second with 210 (plus 14 credit only plus the pilot) appearances. Frances Bavier ("Aunt Bee") appeared on 175 (including the pilot plus 4 credit only) while Don Knotts was on 143 (plus 9 credit only). Surprisingly no other character reached the 100 show mark. George Lindsey, Howard McNear and Aneta Corsaut were the only ones on at least 50 episodes. Jack Dodson, Hope Summers and Hal Smith each made over 30 appearances. Betty Lynn made 26 and Jim Nabors 23 episodes. All others were fewer than 20 episodes including "Emmett Clark" and "Ellie Walker" and "Warren Ferguson." Even "Ernest T. Bass" and "The Darlings" made fewer than ten episodes. The writing, casting and directing was so flawless that it just makes you think all of them were on most of the episodes.

It all started as an episode of Make Room For Daddy with Danny Thomas in an episode entitled "Danny Meets Andy Griffith" that aired on February 15, 1960.  This show introduced the world to Mayberry, North Carolina and the widower Sheriff Andy Taylor and his son Opie.  Francis Bavier also appeared in this episode but not as "Aunt Bee" she was "Henrietta Perkins."  Others that would later also show up on The Andy Griffith Show including Will Wright, Frank Cady, and Rance Howard.  As I have stated I feel this is the true beginning of TAGS. 

During the shows run many actors and actresses that would go on to star in movies and television shows appeared including: Barbara Eden, Buddy Ebsen, Max Baer, Jr., Edgar Buchanan, Don Rickles, Bob Denver, Alan Hale, Jr., Frank Cady, Alvy Moore, Sid Melton, Mary Grace Canfield,  Hank Patterson, Howard Hesseman (credited as Don Sturdy), James Best, William Christopher, Jamie Farr, Gavin MacLeod, Julie Adams, Dabbs Greer, Rob Reiner, Denver Pyle, Bo Hopkins, Lee Van Cleef, Helen Kleeb, Mary Jackson, Dub Taylor, Richard Bull, Karl Swenson, Ellen Corby, Artie Johnson, Dick Haynes, Terri Garr, Elinor Donahue and Ronnie Schell, George Nader and Casey Adams (aka Max Showalter). Even Jack Nicholson made two appearances on the show!

Even Barbara Griffith the first wife of Andy Griffith appeared in one episode. Ron Howard's father and brother appeared in episodes. Actor's Howard Morris "Ernest T. Bass" and Richard Crenna both directed 8 episodes of TAGS.

Now my own list does not include the announcer Colin Male except for his appearance as a forest ranger on the show. Male in 65 of the early episodes was the announcer. I personally consider the announcer similar to a crew member, director etc. and not a member of the cast.

In all over 500 actors appeared on the show (not counting "Dolly the horse" or "Old Sam the Fish." About 475 of those had "credited" roles. There were scores of "extras" that would likely push the list up much higher. The names with ** after them have exemplars shown herein. The following is a list of cast members who were on at least five episodes:

Andy Griffith "Andy Taylor" 249 episodes**(plus the pilot)
Ron Howard "Opie Taylor" 224 **(plus the pilot)
Frances Bavier "Aunt Bee Taylor" 177** (plus the pilot)
Don Knotts "Barney Fife" 151**
George Lindsey "Goober Pyle" 87**
Howard McNear "Floyd Lawson" 80**
Aneta Corsaut "Helen Crump" 66**
Jack Dodson "Howard Sprague" 38**
Hope Summers "Clara Edwards" 32**
Hal Smith "Otis Campbell" 32**
Betty Lynn "Thelma Lou" 26**
Jim Nabors "Gomer Pyle" 23**
Paul Hartman "Emmett Clark) 16**
Mary Lansing "Martha Clark" 15
Burt Mustin "Jud Fletcher & others" 14**
Robert McQuain "Joe Waters & others" 14
Richard Keith "Johnny Paul Jason" 13**
Elinor Donahue "Ellie Walker" 12**
Jack Burns "Warren Ferguson" 11**
Dick Elliott "Mayor Pike" 11**
Joseph H. Hamilton "Mayberry Citizen" 11**
Joseph Crehan "Mayberry Citizen" 10**
Sheldon Collins "Arnold Bailey" 9**
Roy Engel "Mayberry Citizen" 8**
Allan Melvin "Various Parts" 8**
Dennis Rush "Howie Pruitt" 8
Howard Morris "Ernest T. Bass" 8**
Rhonda Jeter "Karen Burgess & others" 8
Parley Baer "Mayor Stoner" 7**
Charles P. Thompson "Old Asa" later "Doc Roberts" 7**
William Keene "Rev. Tucker" 6
Jack Prince "Rafe Hollister" 6**
Janet Stewart (Bernice and others) 6
Forrest Lewis (Cy Hudgins; Mayberry Citizen) 6**
Joy Ellison (Effie Muggins and others) 6
Cheerio Meredith "Emma Brand" 6**
Norman Leavitt ("Wally" and others) 6**
Maggie Peterson Mancuso "Charlene Darling" 6**
Denver Pyle "Briscoe Darling" 6**
Doug Dillard (Darling brother) 6**
Rodney Dillard (Darling brother) 6**
Mitch Jayne (Darling brother) 6**
Dean Webb (Darling brother) 6**
Olan Soule (Choirmaster John Masters/hotel clerk) 5
Jason Johnson (Mr. Weaver & others) 5
Frank Ferguson (Mr. Foley, Sam Lindsey, Wilbur Pine) 5
Amzie Strickland (Myra Tucker & others) 5
Sherwood Keith (Sam) 5
Warren Parker (County Fair Judge) 5
George Cisar [NOT the baseball player with the same name] (Cyrus Tankersley) 5
Frank Warren (Art Crowley the grocer) 5
Ruth Thom (Ella Carson) 5
Maudie Prickett (Aunt Nora and Mrs. Larch) 5**
Clint Howard (Leon) 5
Sam Edwards (Tom Bedlow & others) 5**

These figures change as I find other episodes they are in. To make these autographs a bit easier for people to find I am going to make a list of the autographs in the reply section below. That way if you are looking for a particular person you can scroll down to find them below in this discussion. The autographs below are people who were on at least two episodes of the show. There is another discussion for those that appeared on only one show and another for "extras."

Jack Dodson "Howard Sprague"
Hope Summers "Clara"
Sheldon Collins "Arnold"
Allan Melvin. Many roles.
James Best. "Jim Lindsey"
Joseph H. Hamilton. "Jase," "Choney," and "Chester Jones"
Mary Treen. "Rose" and "Clara Lindsey."
Jonathan Hole "Orville Monroe" in three episodes.
Richard Keith (aka Keith Thibodeaux)
Margaret Kerry
Ron Howard
Sam Edwards
Burt Mustin
Byron Foulger
Arthur Malet
Denver Pyle
Doug Dillard
Rodney Dillard
Mitch Jayne
Dean Webb
Maggie Peterson
Doodles Weaver (aka Red Marshall)
Joe Crehan
Parley Baer
Rance Howard
Emory Parnell
Joyce Jameson
Amzie Strickland
Jack Burns
Ken Lynch

Tags: Andy, Bavier, Don, Frances, Griffith, Howard, Jack, Ken, Knotts, Lynch, More…Nicholson, Ron

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Thanks Sam! I obtained that through a trade with a mayberry friend of mine. Been looking a long time for him and finally had something that was a decent trade for both of us.

GLADYS HURLBUT (1898-1988) is best known playing Clarabelle Morrison along with Charity Grace (1884-1965) playing Jennifer Morrison the moonshine making sisters in the TAGS episode "Alcohol and Old Lace."  This was one of the most popular of the TAGS episodes.  Hurlbut and Grace both started in television and movies rather late.  Hurlbut appeared in the Lucille Ball and Desi Arnaz movie The Long, Long Trailer, Charlton Heston's The President's Lady, and A Man Called Peter.  She appeared in several television shows such as I Love Lucy, The Ann Southern Show, Alfred Hitchcock Presents, The Adventures of Jim Bowie and many more.   Her autograph although not as rare as Charity Grace is still scarce.  The following is from the mid-1980s.

GLADYS HURLBUT on right and Charity Grace on left. In the episode "Alcohol and Old Lace."

CHEERIO MEREDITH (1890-1964) was often cast as a sweet little old lady in her roughly 20 years in movies and television.  She played Emma Brand/Watson the best friend of Aunt Bee in early episodes of TAGS.  Her expressive face was used to great comic effect in such episodes as "The Manhunt" and "Ellie Comes to Town."  She was on the show from 1960-1962 in six episodes.  She appeared in such television comedies as The Dick Van Dyke Show, The Jack Benny Show, The Donna Reed Show, Petticoat Junction and The Ozzie and Harriet Show. She also appeared in westerns such as Bonanza, Rawhide and Bronco.   Meredith appeared on two episodes of Father Knows Best that starred Elinor Donahue.  In 1962 she was in the movie The Three Stooges in Orbit. Her last movie appearance was in Sex and the Single Girl playing Burt Mustin's wife. Mustin also appeared several times on TAGS.  Hers is among the scarcest of the TAGS actresses who were on more than 5 shows.   This is an autographed note signed on an index card :

CHEERIO MEREDITH as Emma Brand on TAGS.

GEORGE DUNN (1914-1982) was a character actor in movies such as Away All Boats, The Kettles on Old MacDonald's Farm and Operation Petticoat.  He appeared on scores of television shows like Starsky and Hutch, The Beverly Hillbillies, Bonanza, Wagon Train, The Virginian and many others.  He appeared on three episodes of TAGS "Stranger in Town","Andy Saves Barney's Morale" and "Mayberry on Record."  This is from a 1970 card in blue ballpoint:

GEORGE DUNN on far left.  He basically played the same character all three episodes but was called Pete" in only two.

does anyone have a signature of Lillian Culver- she played barneys mom on 1 episode. I have been looking for her autograph for a while and I wanted to see if anyone has any examples. Thanks

Hi Tim.  In all the years I have been collecting I have never seen an exemplar for Lillian Culver.  I have not even seen suspect ones!  What is surprising she lived until 1999 dying at 103!  She was in a lot of popular television shows I would think somewhere there would be one.  Her husband was the founder of Culver City, California.  There are probably legal or land documents with her name somewhere.

RICHARD X. SLATTERY (1925-1997) best known as the Captain Morton on Mister Roberts television series. He played hot tempered authority figures in scores of movies and television shows. He appeared a remarkable 9 times on Bewitched usually playing a policeman. He appeared on Gunsmoke, Bonanza, F-Troop, The Odd Couple, M*A*S*H, The Waltons and many others. Slattery played Barney's boss Capt. Dewhurst in two episodes of The Andy Griffith Show.  It is interesting to note that his co-star, George Ives, on Mister Roberts also appeared on TAGS.  This is a vintage album page in blue ballpoint:

Richard Slattery played Barney's boss on TAGS.

DAVID KETCHUM (1928-     ) is perhaps best known as "Agent 13" on Get Smart.  He also had a recurring role on I'm Dickens, He's Fenster.  He is one of those faces that is easy to remember and he was on so many television shows in the 1960s through 1990s.  He was on The Munsters, Green Acres, The Odd Couple, The Mary Tyler Moore Show.Happy Days and many more. He appeared on two episodes of The Andy Griffith Show and one of Mayberry R. F. D

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