Frances Bavier aka "Aunt Bea"

Lucille Ball had a reputation as a bitch offscreen and could be very difficult to work with. She’d rehearse everything to death and often made the director shoot take after take after take until she felt a stunt went right.

Well the winner in the difficult TV series actor would be Valerie Harper. She got kicked off her own show.

Re: Ron Palillo, I’m going by Mark Evanier’s blog entry from the day Palillo died. Evanier was one of Kotter’s writers:

As for SMG, there were just lots of reports of diva behavior. When one cast member had a mother in the hospital and other people were trying to be of comfort, Gellar said something like “Can we hurry this up? I have a hair appointment.” Granted, everyone on that show had a financial stake in Buffy looking like a million bucks, but… No cites, as this was over a decade ago in print media.

IIRC, There were not many tears shed when Shelley Long left Cheers.

I liked the character of Aunt Bee. The episode about her “kerosene cucumbers” was one of my favorites.

I don’t think writer’s complaints are fair. Those guys hate anyone who doesn’t blow them. If the director, producer, and fellow cast members don’t have a problem, the actor is just fine.

When I taught college, I had the pleasure of having both the daughter of Gary Burghoff and his ex wife enrolled in my classes.

The daughter was definitely the daughter of Gary…looked just liked him but in a very cute way.

However, never mention it to her. His daughter HATED him and I don’t mean in a strongly dislike way. I mean HATE. Guess he was a terrible father.

Now, I would say just the opposite as I’d heard about Tina Louise but never heard anything about Robert Reed.

There’s an interview with Sherwood Schwartz (creator of both “Gilligan’s Island” and “Brady Bunch”) on YouTube. He talks quite a bit about Reed and what a pain in the ass he was to work with. As I recall, Reed was written out of the series’ finale, and was quite surprised when they wanted him back for the revival.

He talks about Tina too, but most of the things I’ve heard about her come from Bob Denver’s memoirs.

Some interesting information about Frances Bavier here. Apparently she was a Crazy Old Cat Lady ™.

Gary Burghoff was on Match Game for several weeks around the time MASH* was getting big, and those episodes are almost unwatchable. By the time Charles returns from his absence, I am ready to reach back through time and stab Burghoff to death with his Marks-a-Lot.

Some additional info I found:

She had and older brother (b. @1898) and one sister (b. @1893). Her mom died in 1920, and her father shortly thereafter. This death notice is almost certainly her dad.

Her sister apparently died in 1959, a spinster.

Her brother, if I have the right person, did marry and had one daughter, who–if she’s still living–would be in her 70s.

I’ll leave it to others to check on that to track her down to see whether she has any personal recollections of her Aunt Frances.

I dont know about FB, but try to find someone in Wlmington, NC who has the first nice thing to say about Andy Griffith.

Please explain. Her name was Beatrice, so wouldn’t it be Aunt Bea?

It would have been if that had been the way they spelled it in the script, but they didn’t.

FAQ #1

Quite a few years ago I dealt with his sister on a professional basis. She was a total wackjob. I have not heard about her in years. She must have moved out of town.

That’s a fair assessment in principle, but (A) Evanier doesn’t have a reputation for slamming everyone he works with; look at a few weeks’ worth of his website and you’ll see what I mean. And (B) for such a high-profile character actor, Palillo didn’t get much work subsequent to Kotter. If the director, producer, and fellow cast members don’t have a problem, this would be inexplicable.

However I seem to recall he got along tolerably well with his co-workers. Apparently one of the biggest complaints by the producers was that Reed was effective in getting the kids on his side during disputes. It was management he fought with, not everyone else.

I can think of about a dozen other people who were well thought of as sitcom character actors, but who got very little other work due to being typecast. Michael Richards and Wayne Knight from Seinfeld are examples.

Wayne Knight has his own sitcom right now.