Who was Aneta Corsaut?
Aneta Louise Corsaut was an American actress and writer who became popular for her role of ‘Helen Crump’ in the situational comedy show ‘The Andy Griffith Show’ in the 1960s. She also appeared in its spinoff series ‘Mayberry R.F.D.’ and later in the TV movie ‘Return to Mayberry’. Interested in acting from a young age, she decided to pursue a career in the show business and studied drama at Northwestern University. After acquiring formal training in acting, she began her acting career with roles in TV programs. Over the course of her career, she had appeared in TV shows like ‘The Blue Knight’, ‘Mrs. G. Goes to College’, ‘Adam-12’, ‘House Calls’, and ‘Matlock’. Also an occasional film actress, Corsaut appeared in the cult horror film ‘The Blob’ alongside legendary actor Steve McQueen. In the 1960s-70s, she appeared in a series of movies, including ‘Good Neighbor Sam’, ‘A Rage to Live’, ‘Blazing Saddles’, and ‘The Toolbox Murders.’
Aneta Corsaut started learning method acting with the pioneering method acting coach, Lee Strasberg, at the Northwestern University.
She began her acting career with an appearance in the anthology television series ‘Producers' Showcase’ in 1955. Later that year, she appeared in the drama series ‘Robert Montgomery Presents’. After two successful television shows, Corsaut got her first break in the film industry. She made her film debut alongside the legendary actor Steve McQueen in the iconic independent horror film ‘The Blob’ in 1958. The film was directed by Irvin Yeaworth. Corsaut portrayed the character of ‘Jane Martin’. The movie was a mega success at the box office, earning over $4 million on a budget of $110,000.
She then appeared in the CBS sitcom ‘Mrs. G. Goes to College’ as ‘Irma Howell’ in a regular role. The show ran for 26 episodes between 1961 and 1962 and became an audience favorite. Her next appearance, the most significant one in her career, was in the American situation comedy ‘The Andy Griffith Show’ as ‘Helen Crump’. Her character was of a school teacher who was also the girlfriend of the show’s protagonist, ‘Sheriff Andy Taylor’ (played by Andy Griffith). She appeared in a total of 66 episodes between 1963 and 1968. Corsaut reprised her role in its spinoff series ‘Mayberry R.F.D.’ in 1968-69.
She played the role of ‘Sheila/ Helena Hartley’ in the medical drama series ‘Emergency!’ in 1974-75. Corsaut also appeared in other popular shows like ‘Adam-12’ as ‘Judy’, ‘The Runaways’ as ‘Shirley Grady’, ‘House Calls’ as ‘Head Nurse Bradley’ (recurring role), ‘Days of Our Lives’ as ‘Blanche Dailey’, and ‘Hart to Hart’ as Dorothy Smith’. Corsaut’s last appearance was in the legal drama series ‘Matlock’ as ‘Judge Cynthia Justin’ in 1992.
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Family & Personal Life
Aneta Louise Corsaut was born in Hutchinson, Kansas, on November 3, 1933, to Jesse Harrison and Opal J. Corsaut. She attended Northwestern University to study drama. She also studied acting with the legendary acting coach Lee Strasberg. She dropped out in the middle of her course to pursue her acting career though she continued to take courses at UCLA.
Aneta Corsaut never got married nor had any children. However, there were rumors of her having an affair with Andy Griffith during their time on ‘The Andy Griffith Show.’
The versatile actress died of complications caused by cancer just three days after her 62nd birthday, on November 6, 1995, in Studio City, Los Angeles, California.