‘The Andy Griffith Show’: What Happened to the Child Actors Who Played on the Christmas Episode?

It’s been a while since we’ve gotten to see all “The Andy Griffith Show” actors on the screen together.

The series started in 1960, meaning a lot of the iconic cast members have now sadly passed away over the years. In remembrance, one of the most iconic episodes of the popular show had to be the “Christmas Story.”

It happened to be the only Christmas episode ever made amongst the 249 other episodes. It first aired on December 19, 1960. It’s one of the highest-rated episodes of the series, according to IMDb.

For those that may have not seen it in a bit, here’s a recap. Businessman Ben Weaver is insisting that both Sheriff Andy Taylor and Deputy Barney Fife lock up Sam Muggins because he is believed to be selling moonshine. He eventually has to listen and locks up the Muggins family on Christmas Eve. He brings Christmas to the jail in a very “A Christmas Carol” moment.

As for the actors in the episode, Sam Edwards and Margaret Kerry played Sam and Bess Muggins. You likely recognize Kerry. She was the model for Tinkerbell in Walt Disney’s 1953 animated film. The two also had a few kids in the episode, too.

The two children from this episode include Joy Ellison as Ethie Muggins and Kelly Flynn as Billy Muggins.

Ellison would go on to play credited roles in six other episodes of “The Andy Griffith Show.” That includes playing Mary Scobe in the future. According to Fox 8, as of now, she has had several roles as a dialect consultant on different movies and TV shows. Some of her work can be seen on “The Eyes of Tammy Faye,” “Life of Pi,” “Chicago,” “The Mark of Zorro,” and “Man Men.”

As for Kelly Flynn, he appeared in future projects as well. He was in two different popular films from the 1960s — “Hush…Hush, Sweet Charlotte” and “A Touch of Blue.” Then, in 2010, he played a referee in the comedic ensemble movie “Valentine’s Day.”

I guess Andy Taylor’s jail on Christmas Eve isn’t the only place we may have seen these two kids.

Ron Howard Award

Perhaps the most influential actor still alive from “The Andy Griffith Show” has to be Ron Howard.

The young Opie Taylor has gone on to have a massive Hollywood career. He won Oscars for producing and directing “A Beautiful Mind” in 2001. He has also directed recent projects like “Hillbilly Elegy” and “Solo: A Star Wars Story.”

Howard also worked with others to help produce “tick, tick… Boom!” directed by Lin-Manuel Miranda. He also has executive producer credit for “Genius,” “Arrested Development,” “Parenthood,” and “From the Earth to the Moon.”

Now, he’s getting the Filmmaker Award by the Motion Picture Sound Editors.

“Ron Howard has inspired and delighted movie lovers worldwide with a body of work incredible in its scope, broad appeal and consistent excellence. His tireless imagination and generous spirit serve as an example to all of us involved in the art of filmmaking. We are proud to present him with this honor,” the president of the organization Mark Lanza said, according to Deadline.

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