When it comes to The Andy Griffith Show, the name Aneta Corsaut is one that cannot be forgotten so quickly. Her impressive appearance on the show made her one of the most famous TV actresses of her time. Although the actress also had roles in other TV shows and movies, it was her portrayal of Helen Crump in The Andy Griffith Show (1963-1968) that put her in the spotlight. She also resumed her role in the continuation of the show, Mayberry R.F.D (1968-1969).
Aneta Corsaut’s Early Life
The actress was born Aneta Louise Corsaut and her date of birth is given as November 3, 1933. She is the daughter of Opal J. and Jesse Harrison Corsaut, who are from Hutchinson, Kansas. Although the details of her early life are not currently known, we do know that she was in the same class as the Polish-born American actor Lee Strasberg. The duo were both students at Northwestern University, where she studied theatre studies.
In the third year of her studies, Aneta Corsaut decided to drop out of school to pursue a professional acting career. She moved to New York where she took roles in the television series Producers’ Showcase and Robert Montgomery Presents in 1955. In 1958 the young actress made her feature film debut in the science fiction horror movie The Blob, the same movie in which Steve McQueen made his acting debut.
Her Career Achievements and Rise to Fame
In the years that followed, Corsaut appeared on numerous television shows such as Unsolved (1960), Dick Powell’s Zane Grey Theater (1960), The Law and Mr. Jones (1960), Harrigan and Son (1961), Mr. G. Goes to College (1961-62), and Saints and Sinners (1962), among many others. In 1963, her career reached greater heights when she was cast for the role of teacher Helen Crump on The Andy Griffith Show (1963-1968). During this time Corsaut continued to star in the films Good Neighbor Sam (1964) and A Rage to Live (1965). After that, she decided to go back to school and enrolled at the University of California, Los Angeles, where she graduated.
In 1968 Aneta Corsaut repeated her Helen Crump character in Mayberry R.F.D (1968-1969), the spin-off and sequel to the Andy Griffith Show. In the 1970s and 1980s, she made a name for herself as a television actress by appearing in several other television series such as Nanny and the Professor (1970), Owen Marshall: Counselor at Law (1973), Adam-12 (1975), Rich Man, Poor Man (1976), The Runaways (1979), House Calls (1980-1981), Days of Our Lives (1984), Return to Mayberry (1986) and Matlock (1987, 1990, 1991-1992).
In addition to building an impressive career as an actress, Aneta can also be credited with being at the top of the list of her achievements as a writer. Together with Muff Singer and Robert Wagner she has written a 191-page book – The Mystery Reader’s Quiz Book. The book is said to have contributed significantly to her overall wealth. According to several sources, Aneta Corsaut was estimated to have net assets of approximately $3 million at the time of her death.
The 5-foot 4-inch actress was able to accumulate her wealth through her acting career, which spanned four decades. In 2006 she was posthumously nominated for a TV Land Icons Award in the Teacher of the Year category for her work on The Andy Griffith Show.
Was Aneta Corsaut Married?
Aneta Corsaut was never married and had no children. Some publications have falsely reported that the actress was married by quoting the above picture of her in a wedding dress with Andy Griffith. However, this is incorrect, as the above image is from a scene in the first episode of Mayberry R.F.D. in which she exchanged marriage vows with the main character of the series, Sheriff Andy Taylor, played by Griffith.
Although they are not married to each other, it was well documented that the two had an affair during their time on the show. In the book Andy & Don: The Making Of A Friendship And A Classic American TV Show, author Daniel de Vise reported that the chemistry between the two stars on screen was so electrifying that they couldn’t stop themselves from getting involved with each other, although Griffith was married to actress Barbara Griffith at the time.
How Did She Die?
Aneta Corsaut had a long struggle with cancer, but on November 6, 1995, she gave up the ghost. The actress died only a few days after her 62nd birthday in Studio City, Los Angeles, California. She was then buried at Valhalla Memorial Park Cemetery in North Hollywood, Los Angeles. Although her death was years ago, Corsaut is remembered through her films and television shows.