A Mayberry State Of Mind
Malcolm Meriwether / Bernard Fox
Malcolm Meriwether is a prim and proper, but very friendly Englishman, a former gentleman's gentleman for Colonel Chumley for 11 years served in the Cold-stream Guards for 6 years . He hailed from Eckmindyke, England (the old country, where they have castles with moats and stuff). His mother was born just 2 blocks from the Piccadilly Circus. Malcolm visited Mayberry three times while touring America on his bicycle visiting small towns across the country. Malcolm always had a fondness for the charms of a small town. During his first visit to Mayberry, Andy hired him as a handyman around the house so he could pay off his debt to Fletch Roberts, for $40.00 worth of damage to his truck, after Malcolm caused a collision with him while riding his bicycle on the wrong side of the road. Malcolm could be a good handyman, but first he needed to get the hang of how to use a ladder. Malcolm was very good at taking care of Andy and Opie while Aunt Bee was away or just to give Aunt Bee some rest time, as he did on his second visit to Mayberry. Malcolm is a great cook and housekeeper, and could also do many other things, like making paper ladders and faces on eggs. He was also a falcon keeper in the past and used to tinker under the bonnet of the Colonel's car back in England. On his third visit to Mayberry, Andy hired him to be the school crossing guard, a job after Andy dismissed Ernest T. Bass from the job for throwing bricks and rocks at cars. Ernest T. was not pleased with this decision and after discovering through conversation Malcolm was an Englisher, Ernest T decided he wanted to fight Malcolm because of it. Malcolm, not being a fighter, had Goober teach him a few tricks. Fortunately for Malcolm, Ernest T. thought Malcolm was an Irishman and called off the fight. Malcolm earned enough money in Mayberry to continue on his journey across America, stopping in small towns along the way and doing odd jobs to earn money to finish his tour and head back to England.
A fifth generation performer, veteran actor Bernard Fox appeared onstage for the first time at age 18 months and by the time he was 14 was not only acting but also working as an assistant stage manager for a repertory theater. After service in the Royal Navy during World War II, he resumed his career, soon joining the prominent York Repertory and, later, London's Whitehall Farce Players. Fox made his screen debut in "Spin a Dark Web/Soho Incident" in 1956 and played the man in the crow's nest of the Titanic who spots the iceberg in 1958's "A Night to Remember". He ended up on a BBC-TV series called "Three Live Wires", whose producer Ray Saffian Allen had American TV connections and promised to help the actor if he ever went to Hollywood. Once in Los Angeles, Fox acted first in the play "Write Me A Murder" in 1962 before Allen (who along with partner Harvey Bullock wrote some scripts for "The Andy Griffith Show") got him a part on "The Danny Thomas Show" as a goofy waiter named Alfie.
The spot on "Danny Thomas" led to his memorable role as Malcolm Meriwether in three episodes of "The Andy Griffith Show" . Over the next few years, he appeared in a wide array of the medium's best fare, including "The Dick Van Dyke Show" , "McHale's Navy" , "The Farmer's Daughter" and "The Monkees" .The tremendous demand for his talents resulted in his simultaneously playing the recurring roles of physician-warlock Dr. Bombay on "Bewitched" and Colonel Crittenden on "Hogan's Heroes" . Since then, Fox has acted in such features as "Herbie Goes to Monte Carlo" in 1977 and "Private Eyes" in 1980, he also was able to land guest spots on "M*A*S*H" and "Murder, She Wrote" , among other series. He debuted on Broadway in "13 Rue de L'Amour" in 78