Where These Stars From The Andy Griffith Show Are Buried

"The Andy Griffith Show" ran on CBS for eight seasons from 1960 until its finale in 1968. Throughout the show's 249-episode run, viewers got their first looks at up-and-coming stars like Ron Howard and Jim Nabors and were greeted by the familiar faces of veteran character actors Frances Bavier and Burt Mustin. The prime-time sitcom received multiple Emmy nominations, including five wins in the category of Outstanding Performance by an Actor in a Supporting Role in a Comedy Series for Don Knotts (per IMDb).

Longtime fans of the show have mourned the passing of the majority of its stars and guest stars over the last several decades, including Knotts and Andy Griffith, who died in 2006 and 2012, respectively.

For those die-hard lovers of "The Andy Griffith Show" who wish to pay respects to their favorite stars' final resting places, you might be surprised to know how many parts of the country play host to their interments. From a private estate on Roanoke Island to a charming hamlet in rural Alabama to the Hollywood Hills, you'll find as much variety in the stars' final resting places as you would character quirks on the show.

Andy Griffith

Though "The Andy Griffith Show" was the series that made Griffith a household name, the actor had a prolific career following its finale. He starred in multiple films and played the title character in the TV series "Matlock" (per IMDb).

According to his New York Times obituary, Griffith grew up in Mount Airy, North Carolina, a town at the foothills of the Appalachian Mountains. Mount Airy has long been known as the inspiration for the fictional town of Mayberry and hosts an annual Mayberry Days Festival early each fall. Fox News 8 tells us that former actors from the hit show make appearances, as do show writers and other behind-the-scenes staff members.

Though Mount Airy was Griffith's hometown, you will not find him buried there. Griffith spent much of his later adult life on a private estate on North Carolina's Roanoke Island. He was at this estate on July 3, 2012, when the 86-year-old actor suffered a fatal heart attack. According to Outsider, Griffith's family forewent a public funeral and laid him to rest in a private grave on the estate. As the burial was so fast, the public didn't know about his death until after he was buried. Since Griffith is interred on private property, you will not be able to visit his final resting place. But fans of the show can pay tribute to the deceased star in his hometown, where you can visit various museums, see a statue erected in his honor, and even stay in Griffith's childhood home (per Visit Mayberry).

Don Knotts

Emmy Award-winning actor Don Knotts might be most known for playing the bumbling, excitable, and anxiety-ridden Barney Fife on "The Andy Griffith Show," but the actor amassed quite the resume throughout his decades on the big and small screens. From his pre-Mayberry years on "The Steve Allen Show" to his 1980s portrayal of Mr. Furley on "Three's Company," Knotts cemented himself as a household name over several generations.

Knotts also had a prolific film career, beginning with the reprisal of his character Cpl. John C. Brown from the play "No Time for Sergeants" when it was adapted for the screen. (It was during the stage production that he met his future TV co-star Andy Griffith.) Following the five years he spent playing Mayberry's deputy, Knotts starred in a number of films, including "The Incredible Mr. Limpet," "The Shakiest Gun in the West," and the cult favorite "The Ghost and Mr. Chicken" (via IMDb). In his later years, Knotts made regular TV appearances, including a recurring role on Griffith's show, "Matlock."

Knotts died from lung cancer at the age of 81 on February 24, 2006 (via The Orlando Sentinel). The publication revealed that Knotts continued to work as an actor up until his final months, including lending his voice to the animated film "Chicken Little" and making guest appearances on TV shows that include "That '70s Show" and "Las Vegas." The actor was laid to rest in Westwood Memorial Park in Los Angeles (per Library of Congress). 

Frances Bavier

One of the most iconic roles from "The Andy Griffith Show" was Andy's Aunt Bee, played by veteran actress Frances Bavier. Her sweet, motherly demeanor on the show sometimes gave way to exasperation, often directed at Opie or Barney.

According to the Associated Press, Bavier entered "The Andy Griffith Show" with more acting experience than anyone else on the set. She was 57 when the show's first episode was shot, and had already had a prolific career as a stage actress. She also had regular roles in multiple TV shows during the 1950s, including "The Eve Arden Show" and "It's a Great Life" (per IMDb). The Emmy Award-winning Bavier went on to co-star in the spin-off "Mayberry R.F.D." Without Griffith, the show didn't fare as well, though it did retain some of Mayberry's familiar faces from the original series. After the 1971 conclusion of "Mayberry R.F.D.," Bavier retired from acting. She made only one more film appearance, playing the role credited as "Lady with the Cat" in the 1974 film "Benji."

The Associated Press reports that Bavier died on December 6, 1989, several days after being released from a local hospital's coronary unit. Though originally from New York City, Bavier had long since made her home in Siler City, North Carolina, not too far from Griffith's hometown of Mount Airy. She was buried in Oakwood Cemetery in Siler City (via Visit North Carolina). 

Howard McNear

The loquacious and sometimes spacy Floyd the Barber was played by Howard McNear. Fans of the show might not be aware, but McNear's acting career was launched by radio, when he starred in the show "Speed Gibson of the International Secret Police" from 1938 to 1940 (per Closer Weekly). McNear put his career on hold when he joined the U.S. Army Air Corps during World War II. Upon his return from service, he dove back into radio, playing the role of Doc Charles Adams on the popular show "Gunsmoke" from 1952 until its end in 1961. Throughout the 1950s, McNear was also making many TV and film appearances, including regular roles on "The George Burns and Gracie Allen Show." His film credits included "Journey to the Bottom of the Sea" and "Anatomy of a Murder."

While in the middle of "The Andy Griffith Show," McNear suffered a stroke that left him partially paralyzed. He had to leave the show for over a year but returned at Griffith's request. Unable to walk or stand, McNear played his character sitting down from that point forward.

McNear's last acting credit was in a 1967 episode of "The Andy Griffith Show." Closer Weekly tells us that the toll the stroke took on McNear was too much, and he retired. He died a short time later, on January 3, 1969. He was buried at the Los Angeles National Cemetery (via U.S. Department of Veteran Affairs).

Hal Smith

Arguably, no one could have played the role of Mayberry's town drunk the way Hal Smith pulled it off. Throughout his 32 appearances on the show, Smith's character Otis Campbell stole every scene he was in. He was often the cause of Deputy Barney Fife's hilariously explosive outbursts.

Though his face is recognized by many for his role on "The Andy Griffith Show," it was Smith's voice that would become a familiar sound to generations of cartoon watchers. From the 1960s forward, Smith would lend his voice to scores of animated characters, including ones featured on "Quick Draw McGraw" and "The Huckleberry Hound Show" (via IMDb). He provided multiple voices for the hit prime-time cartoon "The Flintstones" and would later be known as the voice of Owl and Pooh in several incarnations of A.A. Milne's "Winnie the Pooh" cartoons. 

Smith was a Saturday morning cartoon staple throughout the 1970s and 1980s, voicing characters in "The New Yogi Bear Show," "The Smurfs," and "The Littles." His last acting credit was for the 1990s cartoon "Garfield and Friends."

The Seattle Times tells us that Smith died on January 28, 1994. The actor, announcer, and former big band singer was 77. He was buried in the Woodlawn Cemetery in Santa Monica, California (per The Santa Monica Conservancy).

Aneta Corsaut

During the first few seasons of "The Andy Griffith Show," Mayberry's sheriff had several love interests. There was the nurse, Peggy McMillan (played by Joanna Moore), who graced the town with her presence over several episodes. Then there was Ellie (Elinor Donahue), the pharmacist whom Andy dated in the first season. But it was Opie's teacher Helen Crump who would eventually capture Andy's heart, with the two courting throughout 66 episodes. The courtship culminated with the pair getting married in the first episode of the 1968 spinoff "Mayberry R.F.D.," marking the first of only two appearances of the couple in the show's three-year run.

Helen Crump was played by Aneta Corsaut, who made her film debut alongside the legendary Steve McQueen in the horror/sci-fi classic "The Blob" in 1958. After the finale of "The Andy Griffith Show," the actress continued to garner parts in film and on TV. She was a regular on the daytime soap "Days of Our Lives" and made appearances on "Marcus Welby, M.D." and "Emergency." Corsaut also appeared in several horror films, most notably "The Toolbox Murders" and "Bad Ronald" (per IMDb). Her last role was on the show "Matlock," with Griffith.

The Hutchinson News boasts that the actress was a native of the Kansas town, paying tribute to her in 2021, years after her 1995 death from cancer. According to Corsaut's obituary in the Los Angeles Times (via Genealogy Trails), the actress was buried in Valhalla Memorial Park in North Hollywood, California.

Betty Lynn

While Sheriff Andy Taylor played the field a bit throughout the first few seasons, Deputy Barney Fife was known for having the heart of one woman in Mayberry. Thelma Lou, who seemed to adore the bumbling lawman as much as she was frustrated with him, dated Fife for five years on the show, before leaving it entirely in 1966 (per IMDb). Played by Kansas City native Betty Lynn, Thelma Lou was seen in later episodes as a cohort of Andy's girlfriend Helen Crump.

Lynn made a name for herself playing bit parts and supporting roles in film and on TV during the 1950s. After she departed from "The Andy Griffith Show," Lynn went on to be cast in supporting TV roles on "Family Affair," "The Magical World of Disney," and "My Three Sons." Her character of Thelma Lou was reunited with her long-lost sweetheart Barney Fife in the 1986 TV movie "Return to Mayberry," where the two were at last wedded. Before her, last screen credit in a 1990 episode of "Shades of L.A.," Lynn, like so many other alumni from "The Andy Griffith Show," had a recurring role in "Matlock" with Griffith.

Lynn died on October 16, 2021, after a brief illness (via Holy Cross Mortuary). She was laid to rest in Culver City, California, in the Holy Cross Cemetery. 

Burt Mustin

Though he began acting late in life, Burt Mustin became quite the familiar face among television viewers throughout the 1950s, '60s, and '70s. Mustin didn't make his first screen appearance until 1951 when the actor was 67 years old. He was quickly cast in a string of films and TV shows, often in the role of a wise and witty elderly man. Before he was ever seen in Mayberry, Mustin had regular roles in "Our Miss Brooks," "The Great Gildersleeve," and "The Texan." Classic TV lovers will recognize his familiar face as Gus the Fireman in the 1950s and '60s television hit "Leave It to Beaver" (per IMDb). Before being cast in screen roles, Mustin hosted a radio variety show in his hometown of Pittsburgh. He was involved in a theater troupe as well, performing many of the Gilbert and Sullivan standards (per Turner Classic Movies).

Mustin appeared in more than a dozen episodes of "The Andy Griffith Show," usually as the wily Jud Fletcher. After Mayberry, Mustin stayed active, appearing in everything from "My Three Sons" to "All in the Family."

Mustin died in 1977 at the age of 92. He was buried at the Forest Lawn Hollywood Hills Cemetery.

George Lindsey

George Lindsey will be forever known as the goofy, kindhearted, bumpkin mechanic from the town of Mayberry. The character Goober Pyle was meant to replace Gomer Pyle after Gomer joined the Marine Corps. Goober's slow wit and drawl picked up right where Gomer's left off, helping Lindsay make his character a household name throughout the remainder of the 1960s. 

The Encyclopedia of Alabama tells us that Lindsey was a high school teacher and military veteran who wanted to become an actor. After garnering several minor roles in various TV westerns, Lindsey hit it big in 1964 when he was cast in "The Andy Griffith Show." After that show's run ended, he continued to play Goober Pyle in "Mayberry R.F.D." Lindsey kept acting after "Mayberry R.F.D.," playing the sort of character he seemed born to play. He had several walk-on parts on the hit show "Hee Haw" and small roles in "Take This Job and Shove it" and "Cannonball Run II" (per IMDb). He also resumed his role as Goober in "Return to Mayberry" in 1986.

Lindsey died on May 6, 2012. CBS News tells us that Lindsey's funeral services were held in Nashville, Tennessee, his longtime home. He is buried in his home state of Alabama at the Oak Hill Cemetery in Jasper (per the city of Jasper). 

Rance Howard

Rance Howard was the father of director-producer-actor Ron Howard, who played Opie Taylor on "The Andy Griffith Show," and actor Clint Howard. The prolific character actor only made four appearances on "The Andy Griffith Show," but he amassed nearly 300 acting credits throughout a career that spanned over six decades. His bit parts and walk-on roles were vast, with Howard making appearances on everything from "Seinfeld" to "The X-Files" to "NCIS." He even appeared on an episode of "Arrested Development," alongside his son Ron (via IMDb).

After Howard's death on November 25, 2017, Ron and Clint took to Twitter to mourn his passing and celebrate his life as a father, husband, and accomplished actor. According to People, Ron Howard wrote that he and Clint were "blessed to be [his] sons." Ron recalled how their father recognized that it was difficult to be in the spotlight as a child actor and did everything he could to make their childhoods as normal as possible. The outlet reports that the elder Howard made TV appearances with Clint on the show "Gentle Ben" and co-wrote "Grand Theft Auto" with Ron for producer Roger Corman. 

Howard was buried at the Hollywood Forever Cemetery in Hollywood, California. 

Jack Dodson

Jack Dodson was a stage actor with a minimal amount of TV and film experience in 1964 when Andy Griffith saw him perform in the Broadway play "Hughie." Griffith was so taken by Dodson's performance that he urged the actor to take the role of store clerk and mama's boy Howard Sprague in "The Andy Griffith Show." The Huffington Post reports that Dodson's character was considered the "voice of reason" in the small town of Mayberry, where hilarious mob-rule antics were sometimes a force to be reckoned with. Dodson made 37 appearances as Howard in the show, before resuming the role throughout the three-year duration of the spinoff "Mayberry R.F.D."

Dodson made a career out of walk-on and recurring character roles on numerous television shows throughout the 1970s and '80s. He was a familiar face in "All's Fair," "Welcome Back, Kotter," and "Happy Days," and had screen time in the films "Something Wicked This Way Comes" and "Thunderbolt and Lightfoot," among others. He acted sporadically during the 1990s, with his last role being Mr. Melon on the TV series "Homefront" in 1993 (per IMDb).

Dodson died of heart failure in 1994, according to The New York Times. His body was cremated, with the cremains given to loved ones (via Find a Grave). 

Hope Summers

Hope Summers was a master character actress, despite getting such a late start in what would become a lucrative career. She made her first screen appearance in 1950 at the age of 48, in the short "Better Use of Leisure Time" in 1950. Several years later, Summers was cast in the soap "Hawkins Falls: A Television Novel," in which she made over 1,000 episode appearances (via IMDb). Before being cast in the role of Aunt Bee's pesty and gossipy best friend in "The Andy Griffith Show" in 1961, Summers held roles in "Wagon Train," "Alfred Hitchcock Presents," and "The Thin Man," as well as numerous film roles. Horror fans remember Summers most from her small part in the 1968 film "Rosemary's Baby," in which she plays a member of the Church of Satan who is enthusiastic about the birth of the Antichrist.

The Huffington Post reports that after "The Andy Griffith Show" ended, Summers appeared in "Mayberry R.F.D.," "Welcome Back, Kotter," and other TV shows throughout the 1970s. She died from heart failure in 1979 at the age of 77. Summers was laid to rest at Mountain View Cemetery in Walla Walla, Washington.

Jim Nabors

Jim Nabors played the bumbling and dimwitted Gomer Pyle on 23 episodes of "The Andy Griffith Show" before his character was written out of the show when Pyle joined the United States Marine Corps. In the spinoff "Gomer Pyle: USMC," Nabors resumed the role of the lovable but naive Pyle, playing a Marine Corps private adept at reducing his superior NCO Sergeant Carter to screaming fits (via IMDb). After the end of the show's 150-episode run, Nabors acted semi-regularly until he retired from the screen in 1991. His last appearance was on "The Carol Burnett Show."

As well-known as Nabors was for playing Gomer Pyle, he was perhaps even more renowned as an accomplished vocalist. Throughout his musical career, Nabors released 28 albums and dozens of singles. The L.A. Times reports that Nabors had five gold records and one that earned platinum status. Racing fans heard Nabors' familiar voice during the opening ceremonies of the Indy 500, where he belted out "Back Home in Indiana" every year from 1972 until 2014 (via Legacy).

A native of Talladega County, Alabama, Nabors had long since moved to Hawaii. After his death on November 30, 2017, the ashes of the 87-year-old actor and singer were scattered in the ocean off the coast of Honolulu (via Find a Grave). 

Paul Hartman

The proprietor of Emmett's Fix-it Shop in Mayberry was the town handyman Emmett Clark. Emmett was a regular character on the last season of "The Andy Griffith Show," appearing in 16 episodes that season (per IMDb). The role of Emmett was played by comedian and stage actor-dancer Paul Hartman. Hartman was born into show business, making his first appearance on stage at only 6 weeks old. His father, Ferris Hartman, was the "Ziegfeld of the Pacific Coast," according to The New York Times. As a young adult, Hartman broke through the vaudeville circuit as a dancer and comedian, performing on stage with such stars as Ginger Rogers. 

Before his role as Emmett, Hartman played various film and TV roles on familiar shows like "The Twilight Zone," "Ozzie and Harriet," and "Alfred Hitchcock Presents." Hartman resumed the role of Emmett in 62 episodes of "Mayberry R.F.D." (per IMDb). His last acting credit was in the 1972 TV movie "Getting Away from It All."

The New York Times tells us that the actor died at the age of 69 on October 2, 1973. Hartman was cremated, and his ashes were scattered into the sea off the coast of Los Angeles (per Find a Grave).