Andy Griffith Show star Maggie Peterson dies aged 81

Andy Griffith Show star Maggie Peterson dies aged 81

The acting community is in mourning on Monday, with the news that The Andy Griffith Show star Maggie Peterson has passed away.

The actress passed away peacefully in her sleep aged 81, it was confirmed by the actress’ official Facebook page and the Andy Griffith Museum.

She died “peacefully in her sleep with her family present”, the Facebook post revealing that she had been in declining health since the death of her husband of more than 40 years, jazz musician Gus Mancuso, who died in December.

RIP: The acting community is in mourning on Monday, with the news of The Andy Griffith Show star Maggie Peterson passing away

RIP: The acting community is in mourning on Monday, with the news of The Andy Griffith Show star Maggie Peterson passing away

Confirmed: The actress passed away peacefully in her sleep aged 81, it has been confirmed by the actress' official Facebook page and the Andy Griffith Museum

Confirmed: The actress passed away peacefully in her sleep aged 81, it has been confirmed by the actress’ official Facebook page and the Andy Griffith Museum

“Maggie’s health has deteriorated following the death of her husband Gus and we are relieved to have been able to move her home to be close to her family during her final days,” the post read.

“Maggie wanted this community to know how much you meant to them over the past three years. Although she is in Las Vegas and away from her family, your love and dedication has helped her not feel alone. She gave us many mentions of how she couldn’t believe how generous you all were. You have truly had a positive impact on her life and helped her through some very difficult times,’ the post added.

The Andy Griffith Museum added on Facebook and Instagram: “It is with great sadness that we share the passing of Maggie Peterson Mancuso.” Maggie will forever be remembered by Mayberry fans as Charlene Darling on “The Andy Griffith Show.” She brought so much joy to her fans and to our Mayberry Days Festival. We will miss you Maggie.’

Great sadness: The Andy Griffith Museum added on Facebook and Instagram: 'It is with great sadness that we share the passing of Maggie Peterson Mancuso.  Maggie will forever be remembered by Mayberry fans as Charlene Darling on

Great sadness: The Andy Griffith Museum added on Facebook and Instagram: ‘It is with great sadness that we share the passing of Maggie Peterson Mancuso. Maggie will forever be remembered by Mayberry fans as Charlene Darling on “The Andy Griffith Show.” She brought so much joy to her fans and to our Mayberry Days Festival. We will miss you Maggie’

Margaret Ann Peterson was born on January 10, 1941, in Greeley, Colorado, and grew up in a musical family that formed a group called the Ja-Da Quartet.

After being discovered at a Capitol Records convention, Peterson and the band traveled to New York after graduating from high school and released an album in 1959 titled It’s the Most Happy Sound.

As the group eventually broke up and they all returned to Colorado, Peterson joined The Ernie Mariani Trio, where she was discovered by The Andy Griffith Show director Bob Sweeney and producer Aaron Ruben.

Musical: Margaret Ann Peterson was born January 10, 1941, in Greeley, Colorado, and grew up in a musical family that formed a band called the Ja-Da Quartet.

Musical: Margaret Ann Peterson was born January 10, 1941, in Greeley, Colorado, and grew up in a musical family that formed a band called the Ja-Da Quartet.

She played Charlene Darling on the hit show and also performed three songs on the show between 1963 and 1964.

She also had roles in Gomer Pyle: USMC, The Bill Dana Show, The Queen And I, Love American Style, Green Acres, Mayberry RFD and Odd Man Out.

Peterson reprized her role as Charlene Darling in the 1986 TV movie Return to Mayberry, with her last acting role in a 1987 episode of The Magical World of Disney.

Bill Dana: She also had roles in Gomer Pyle: USMC, The Bill Dana Show, The Queen And I, Love American Style, Green Acres, Mayberry RFD and Odd Man Out

Bill Dana: She also had roles in Gomer Pyle: USMC, The Bill Dana Show, The Queen And I, Love American Style, Green Acres, Mayberry RFD and Odd Man Out

She changed careers in the 1990s, working as an assistant and stage manager on films like Casino, Mars Attacks!, Go and Pay It Forward.

She is predeceased by her husband Gus Mancuso, whom she first met in 1968 and married in 1978.

The family revealed on Facebook that they are “planning a private service for Maggie in the coming weeks”.

Career: She changed careers in the 1990s, working as an assistant and set manager on films like Casino, Mars Attacks!, Go and Pay It Forward

Career: She changed careers in the 1990s, working as an assistant and set manager on films like Casino, Mars Attacks!, Go and Pay It Forward

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