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Mayberry Matrimony: Ron Howard’s Wedding Was an ‘Andy Griffith Show’ Reunion

Mayberry Matrimony: Ron Howard’s Wedding Was an ‘Andy Griffith Show’ Reunion

Though much of the Andy Griffith Show cast members’ interactions occurred in Mayberry, stars like Ron Howard and Andy Griffith occasionally met up outside of the set. One of those rare events happened on June 7, 1975, when Howard married his longtime girlfriend Cheryl Alley.

This was not a huge Hollywood ceremony by any means. Yet there were some notable friends and even co-stars from Ron Howard’s then-current series Happy Days on hand.

Ron Howard also invited a couple of old friends, including Andy Griffith and Don Knotts, who came to support the former child star. He wrote about it in the memoir penned alongside his brother, Clint Howard, titled The Boys: A Memoir of Hollywood and Family.

“Andy Griffith and Don Knotts also came, which moved me to no end,” Howard wrote. By the mid-1970s, Griffith was doing a television movie here and there. Knotts was involved in community theater and one-off appearances on talk shows or variety shows. Yes, it was a far distance away from the days of their collaboration on Griffith’s sitcom.

Ron Howard Touched by Andy Griffith, Don Knotts’ Attendance at His Wedding

In the book, Ron Howard stated that his adult relationships with Andy Griffith and Don Knotts weren’t as regular as he might have wanted them to be. Seeing both of them at the wedding, though, drew up his emotions.

“I no longer saw much of them, but, like the de facto family that they were, they showed up when it mattered,” Howard wrote.

It wouldn’t be too much longer before Knotts was back in primetime sitcom land. He started playing Ralph Furley on Three’s Company after Norman Fell and Audra Lindley left for the spin-off The Ropers.

Aside from Ron Howard’s wedding, there were a couple of notable reunions of The Andy Griffith Show cast. In 1986, Return to Mayberry saw Griffith, Howard, Knotts, Betty Lynn, Aneta Corsaut, George Lindsey, Jim Nabors, and Jack Dodson gather together again. Frances Bavier, who played Aunt Bee, was retired by this time and was not interested in coming back to television.

Recurring Reunions Proved Special for ‘TAGS’ Cast and Fans

Then, in 2003, Griffith hosted The Andy Griffith Show Reunion: Back to Mayberry on CBS. This special showed funny clips from the sitcom and marked one of the last times the cast got together.

In one scene, Griffith, Howard, Knotts, and Nabors are shown sitting around a table in a recreated set of Mayberry’s sheriff’s office and courthouse. Other actors from the show making appearances include Lynn, Margaret Petersen, Howard Morris, and Rodney Dillard.

Anytime a reunion of any type happened, though, warm memories of days gone by sprung up. The actors spent hours and days together on the show’s set. Who knows? They may also have met up at bars or restaurants for some after-hours dinner or relaxation.

People still enjoy watching the antics of Andy, Barney, Opie, Aunt Bee, and others on The Andy Griffith Show. It’s been in reruns for decades and shows no signs of slowing down. New generations are always getting introduced to the show, including its amazing history.

In some way, every time you watch this show, it’s like having your own reunion with some old friends.