A Mayberry State Of Mind
Charlene Darling Wash / Maggie Peterson Mancuso
Maggie Peterson Mancuso
Maggie Peterson Mancuso, born Margaret Ann Peterson, was born January 10, 1941 in the gentle town of Greeley, Colorado. Maggie, the youngest of four children, was born to Arthur and Tressa Hill Peterson. Her father was a doctor and her mother a homemaker. Maggie starred as Charlene Darling on The Andy Griffith show and also appeared on other TV shows such as The Bill Dana Show, Love American Style, Green Acres, Gomer Pyle USMC, and The Odd Couple. Movies include An Angel in My Pocket and The Love God, both from 1969. She also appeared in the 1986 movie Return to Mayberry.
Music was always a part of Maggie's home for as long as she can remember. At the age of 12, Maggie joined her brother's group, Jada Quartet, as the singer. The group did shows around town, traveling in a red pick-up truck, with Maggie riding in the back with the instruments. In 1954, at a Capital Records convention, Dick Linke (manager of Andy Griffith and Jim Nabors) heard Maggie singing and was so impressed with her, he encouraged her to come to New York, so in 1958, after graduating high school, Maggie and the group did just that. They landed a number of stints on the Perry Como Show and the Pat Boone Show, and in 1959 they released their album "It's the Most Happy Sound." Soon after, the band broke up and went back home. A short time later, Maggie joined another group, The Ernie Mariani Trio (later renamed Margaret Ann and the Ernie Mariani Trio). The group traveled for several years and had stints in resort areas such as Las Vegas, Tahoe, and Reno, where Frank Sinatra and the Rat Pack were often seen in the audience while Maggie performed. It was while she was on tour that Maggie was discovered by TAGS director Bob Sweeney and producer Aaron Ruben.
Maggie initially read for the role of love interest for Sheriff Andy Taylor, but the role went to Elinor Donahue (Ellie Walker). Maggie soon after went on to play the role of Charlene Darling. Maggie also landed a role as Susie, the coffee shop waitress on The Bill Dana Show, another spin off from The Danny Thomas Show, which aired from September 1963 to January 1965.
In 1968, while she was singing as an opening act for Andy Griffith at a casino in Lake Tahoe, Nevada, Maggie met jazz musician, Gus Mancuso, who was playing bass in a lounge act. The two married and have been together every since. The couple spent a number of years in Los Angeles, where Maggie worked doing commercials, until they decided to settle in Las Vegas, where Maggie now works as a location scout for film and television.
Charlene Darling Wash
Charlene Darling, only daughter of Briscoe Darling, who had a crush on Sheriff Taylor (Paw, can't I just look at the pretty man). The Darling's lived in the mountains and came to town on many occasions. When in town, they enjoyed playing music with Andy. One of Charlene's favorite songs is Salty Dog. Ernest T. Bass had his eyes on Charlene and tried unsuccessfully to steal her away on her wedding day to Dud Wash. Dud married Charlene, while Ernest T ended up with Barney Fife.
Charlene and Dud had a daughter together, whom they named Andilina. They tried to betroth Andilina to Opie, as it was customary in their family. Briscoe called off the engagement of Opie and Andilina when he discovered there was witchery in the Taylor family.
Some 20 years later, not knowing what became of Dud Wash, Ernest T was finally betrothed to Charlene