Andy Griffith visited Don in the hospital right before his death. Andy later recalled his final words to his dear friend: “I know that he could hear me, and we all believe that he could hear my voice,” said Andy. “I told him that I loved him, and I told him…I said ‘Jess [Don’s real first name], breathe. You’ve gotta make this, you’ve gotta pull through. Breathe.’ And you know, I saw his chest heave, and I said ‘That’s a boy. Keep breathing. Just keep breathing.’ And his shoulder moved, so I believe he heard my voice.”
Knotts died at age 81 on February 24, 2006, at the Cedars-Sinai Medical Center in Los Angeles, California from pulmonary and respiratory complications of pneumonia related to lung cancer . He had been undergoing treatment at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center in the months before his death, but he returned home after he had reportedly been feeling better. His body was buried at Westwood Memorial Park in Los Angeles.
In 1998, Andy Griffith said that Frances had called him shortly before her death and apologized for “being ‘difficult’ during the series’ run".
Sadly, she died at age 86, just 8 days before her 87th birthday.
Aneta Corsaut had a continuing role as policeman Bumper Morgan's pawn-shop-owner friend on the series The Blue Knight and as Irma Howell in the short-lived series Mrs. G. Goes to College . In the TV series Adam-12 , Corsaut portrayed Officer Pete Malloy's girlfriend, Judy. She had a supporting role as Head Nurse Bradley in the 1980s sitcom House Calls , and also appeared in several episodes of Matlock with star Andy Griffith . In addition, Corsaut played the role of nurse Jesse Brewer in 1977 on the long-running ABC soap opera General Hospital when long-time portrayer Emily McLaughlin was too ill to work.
Aneta returned for two reunion shows, 1986’s Return to Mayberry and 1993’s The Andy Griffith Show Reunion. She also made appearances on many other TV shows. Aneta died in 1995 and is buried in Hollywood.
A Sad Time for Fans
In 1983, Andy became ill with Guillain-Barre Syndrome, but made a full recovery. Nearly 30 years later, Andy Griffith died on July 3, 2012, from a heart attack at the age of 86. He passed away at his coastal home in Manteo, Roanoke Island, in Dare County, North Carolina. Sadly, Andy’s fans didn’t have much time to grieve.
Andy Griffith’s family requested that his body be immediately buried there, and within hours of his death, the famed TV and movie star was interred. Memorials were given but only after he had already been laid to rest.
The Nirvana Connection
Did you know that iconic grunge musician Kurt Cobain wrote a song called Floyd the Barber for the band's ‘Bleach’ album? The people mentioned in this song are all based on characters from The Andy Griffith Show . Kurt Cobain wrote the song thinking, "What if all these people were mad, sadistic, killers?" The guy in the song went into the barber shop for a shave, but instead gets urinated on by Floyd, cut up by Opie and Aunt Bea, and suffocated by Andy Griffith. The song was much darker than the show; many of the residents of Mayberry (including Floyd) murder Cobain in it.
The band was known as Skid Row when they first started playing this in 1987. They recorded it for the first time at KAOS, the student-run radio station of Evergreen State College in Olympia, Washington.