Connect with us

Celebrity Gist

Arlene Golonka, actress best known for The Andy Griffith Show and Mayberry R.F.D., passes away at 85

Published

on


Fans of television’s first Golden Age are in mourning on Tuesday with beloved actress Arlene Golonka passing away.

The actress passed away at 85 years of age at her home in West Hollywood, California, according to Variety.

Golonka’s niece, Stephanie Morton, confirmed that her aunt had been suffering from Alzheimer’s Disease.

R.I.P.: Fans of television's first Golden Age are in mourning on Tuesday with beloved actress Arlene Golonka passing away

R.I.P.: Fans of television’s first Golden Age are in mourning on Tuesday with beloved actress Arlene Golonka passing away

‘She lived and breathed being an artist, being an actress was who she was born to be,’ Morton said in a statement.

‘She was a very wise woman who I was lucky to call my aunt. She loved to teach,’ Mortaon continued, adding her acting students included stars like Halle Berry.

Golonka was born January 23, 1936 in Chicago to Polish parents Elinor (Wroblewski) and Frank Golonka.

Artist: 'She lived and breathed being an artist, being an actress was who she was born to be,' Morton said in a statement

Artist: ‘She lived and breathed being an artist, being an actress was who she was born to be,’ Morton said in a statement

She started acting in her early teen years before studying at the prestigious Goodman Theatre in Chicago.

The actress made her way to New York City at 19 years of age to study under legends such as Lee Strasberg at The Actors Studio.

She was a life member of The Actors Studio, first appearing alongside Ben Gazzara in The Night Circus, which briefly moved to Broadway in December 1958.

Actors Studio: She was a life member of The Actors Studio, first appearing alongside Ben Gazzara in The Night Circus, which briefly moved to Broadway in December 1958

Actors Studio: She was a life member of The Actors Studio, first appearing alongside Ben Gazzara in The Night Circus, which briefly moved to Broadway in December 1958

She continued her work on the stage in Take Me Along with Jackie Gleason from late 1959 to late 1960, Neil Simon’s Broadway debut Come Blow Your Horn from February 1961 to October 1962 and Dale Wasserman’s stage adaptation of Ken Kesey’s novel One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest alongside Kirk Douglas, running from November 1963 to January 1964.

Golonka moved to Los Angeles to try her hand at TV acting, landing guest-starring roles in The Flying Nun, The Big Valley and The Andy Griffith Show.

She played Millie in The Andy Griffith Show, which she reprised in the 1968-spin-off Mayberry R.F.D., after Andy Griffith left the show.

Movies: She also appeared in movies such as Clint Eastwood's Hang 'Em High, Airport '77, The In-Laws, Separate Ways, Longshot and Mrs. Tutor

Movies: She also appeared in movies such as Clint Eastwood’s Hang ‘Em High, Airport ’77, The In-Laws, Separate Ways, Longshot and Mrs. Tutor

Golnoka appeared in 49 episodes of the spin-off, which aired over three seasons from 1968 to 1971.

She spent the bulk of the 1970s guest-starring in several different TV shows such as Sarge, The Rookies, M*A*S*H*, Young Dr. Kildare, All In the Family and many more.

She also appeared in movies such as Clint Eastwood’s Hang ‘Em High, Airport ’77, The In-Laws, Separate Ways, Longshot and Mrs. Tutor.

Other TV roles include numerous roles on Fantasy Island, The Love Boat, Gimme a Break, Growing Pains, Murder She Wrote, Matlock and The King of Queens, her final role in 2005.

Golonka is survived by a sister along with her nieces and nephews. 

TV roles: Other TV roles include numerous roles on Fantasy Island, The Love Boat, Gimme a Break, Growing Pains, Murder She Wrote, Matlock and The King of Queens, her final role in 2005

TV roles: Other TV roles include numerous roles on Fantasy Island, The Love Boat, Gimme a Break, Growing Pains, Murder She Wrote, Matlock and The King of Queens, her final role in 2005