Ron Howard was born in Duncan, Oklahoma , in 1954. He was the elder son of Jean Speegle Howard, an actress, and Rance Howard, a director, writer, and actor. Ron Howard followed in his dad’s footsteps to become an actor. It was also well known that he apparently had a great relationship with his dad.
Howard later revealed that Andy and Opie’s relationship was based on the influence that his dad had on him in real life. Additionally, Rance (Ron’s father) had appeared on the Andy Griffith Show multiple times having various guest roles.
The Only Speaking Role
While there were many African Americans who appeared in the background scenes of The Andy Griffith Show, they were all only extras with non-speaking roles. However, Rockne Tarkington broke that streak when he appeared on the episode “Opie’s Piano Lesson.” With his spoken lines, he became the first and only black actor to do so during the series’ entire run.
He also played recurring roles on the TV series "The Banana Splits Adventure Hour" and "Matt Houston". His film appearances include Major Dundee , The Great White Hope , Beware the Blob , National Lampoon's Movie Madness , The Ice Pirates and Wyatt Earp .
Andy and Opie’s Characters Were Around Before the Show Premiered
The Andy Griffith Show did not debut until October 1960. Nonetheless, the characters of Andy and Opie first appeared on Make Room for Daddy in February, 1960. Both shows were produced by Danny Thomas.
The 7th Season episode of Make Room for Daddy served as the pilot for its spin-off series The Andy Griffith Show. In the episode, Danny went past a stop sign in the small town of Mayberry, because there was no crossroad. Sheriff Andy Taylor comes and arrests Danny. He said the town council had decided to make a crossroad there, but there was only enough money for a stop sign. Danny demands to see the Justice of the Peace. In response, Andy takes out a sign and says he's the Justice of the Peace.
The Operator Who Never Slept or Went Home
The character Sarah was the telephone operator on The Andy Griffith Show . Her last name was never revealed and she appeared to always be on duty. She is never seen on The Andy Griffith Show, however, her name is frequently spoken by many other characters while placing phone calls. She often eavesdrops on calls and chats while she's putting calls through.
While she was never seen on camera, her voice was distinctive enough to always know it was her. This made for a good running joke where her chattiness could get in the way of Andy's business, but Griffith was always a good sport about it, getting through the small talk to take care of whatever that day's trouble entailed.
Andy’s House Address is Still a Mystery
The Taylors live in the same house in every episode of The Andy Griffith Show , but over the course of the series, several different addresses were given for the location of Andy’s home. While the Taylors have never moved, in one episode, Aunt Bee tells someone that their address is 332 Maple Road, while in a different episode Barney tells an investigator that Andy’s address is 24 Elm Street.
At some point, Andy notes the address as 14 Maple Road. Some say that last one must be correct, because that's the only one that Andy actually gives himself.