Maggie Peterson, the actress best known for her role as Charlene Darling on The Andy Griffith Show, died Sunday (May 15) at the age of 81.
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Her family shared the news of her death on social media with a post that read in-part, “It is with great sorrow that we report that our dear Aunt Maggie died yesterday afternoon (Sunday, May 15). She passed peacefully in her sleep with her family present.”
They added that Maggie’s health declined following her husband’s death and they had moved her near family for her final days.
As news of her death spread, fans reminisced about the blond-haired beauty who won over hearts as the only daughter of the fictional Briscoe Darling and his bluegrass loving family. While she and the Darling family only appeared in six episodes of The Andy Griffith Show, they made a huge impact on the show’s fans and co-stars.
Ron Howard, who is one of the last surviving stars of The Andy Griffith Show, paid his respects to Peterson in a Twitter post, calling the actress “lovely” and “kind.” He also shared his favorite clip of Maggie Peterson as Charlene Darling.
— Ron Howard (@RealRonHoward) May 17, 2022
Maggie Peterson was preceded in death by other Andy Griffith Show stars that include, Andy Griffith (Sheriff Andy Taylor), Don Knotts (deputy Barney Fife), Francis Bavier (Aunt Bee), Aneta Coraut (Helen Crump), Jim Nabors (Gomer Pyle), and most recently, Betty Lynn (Thelma Lou) who passed away in October.