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facebook.com/TheCharleneDarling Getty Images

How Old Was Maggie Peterson When She Passed? Look inside the ‘Andy Griffith Show’ Star’s Life

Dayna Remus
May 17, 2022
01:15 P.M.

Maggie Peterson graced our screens for many years, sadly and recently passing away at 81 years old. But, as blessings come, she was surrounded by family and love when she died.


Actress Maggie Peterson's career began when she won the role of Charlene Darling on "The Andy Griffith Show." She would be off and on the show from the early 1960s until the mid-1980s.

Her first stint as Darling occurred from 1963 until 1966, taking place in five episodes. In 1968, she also appeared on the show as Doris -- a new character.

Jim Nabors and Maggie Peterson at the film premiere of “Ship of Fools” in the United States of America in1965. | Source: Getty Images

Jim Nabors and Maggie Peterson at the film premiere of “Ship of Fools” in the United States of America in1965. | Source: Getty Images

Finally, her last stint with the franchise happened in 1986 when she returned as her original character for the movie, "Return to Mayberry," which was based on the series.

Before retiring in the late 1980's she also acted in "Green Acres," "The Odd Couple," and "The Bill Dana Show," where she played the waitress Susie.

Maggie Peterson, Jonathan Harris, Don Adams, and Bill Dana on the 201 Episode of “The Bill Dana Show.” | Source: Getty Images

Maggie Peterson, Jonathan Harris, Don Adams, and Bill Dana on the 201 Episode of “The Bill Dana Show.” | Source: Getty Images


An official Facebook page for the actress "Maggie Peterson "Charlene Darling" 1941-2022" shared a statement written by her niece Amy Royer and nephew Ben Eaton. It stated that Peterson died this past Sunday, May 15, 2022. They revealed she passed on with her family by her side in her sleep. The post also stated:

"Maggie's health took a turn for the worse after the death of her husband Gus, and we are relieved that we were able to move her home to be close to family for her last days. We will be planning a private service for Maggie in the next few weeks."

But, her health had begun to deteriorate long before. In 2020, in her own words, the retired actress opened up about her many injuries. She said these injuries had led to many surgeries.


She also revealed that both of her arms were paralyzed, and she had been in constant rehabilitation because of all these health issues she had been facing.



Gus Mancuso shared his wife's passion for the arts. He worked as a musician in Las Vegas for almost seven decades, playing various instruments with great skill.

His many instruments of choice were the vibes, the baritone, the piano, the trombone, and the bass. Dedicated to his craft, Mancuso continued to play music even after being told he had Alzheimer's.

Mancuso was not just hardworking but also well-known in the industry. He toured with jazz star Eckstine, Quincy Jones, Les Brown Band of Renown, and many other greats.


Sadly, "Mr. Las Vegas Jazz," as affectionately known, passed away at 88 years old, soon joined by his beautiful beloved.



Another talented musician, Naomi Judd, recently passed away after her relentless battle with mental illness. Like Peterson, her family loved her, including her two famous daughters, Ashley and Wynonna Judd.

Recently, they held a memorial for their mom in a public memoir. Ashley found herself in tears while talking about her late mother, after which Wynonna sang a song written by their mom called "River of Time."

From struggles with old age to fighting against mental illness, all these artists once provided joy to the world, and for that, we can only thank them and wish their families the best.

The National Suicide Prevention Lifeline is 1-800-273-8255. Other international suicide helplines can be found at befrienders.org.


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