Maggie Peterson, an actress who made a lasting impression as the sweet-natured, occasionally flirtatious mountain girl Charlene Darling on The Andy Griffith Show in the 1960s, died May 15 in Colorado, her family has announced.

“It is with great sorrow that we report that our dear Aunt Maggie died on 15 May 2022 afternoon,” the family posted on Facebook.“She passed peacefully in her sleep with her family present.”

Peterson, who lived in Las Vegas, recently lost her husband of more than 40 years, the jazz musician Gus Mancuso, who died in December.

“Maggie’s health took a turn for the worse after the death of her husband Gus,” the family wrote, “and we are relieved that we were able to move her home to be close to family for her last days.”

A Colorado native, Peterson began her show business career in the 1950s as a singer, performing with a family vocal group called the Ja-Da Quartet.

Peterson often took part in Mayberry fan club events, with her family writing to fans today: “Despite being in Las Vegas and away from her family, your love and devotion helped her to not feel alone.

She made many mentions to us about how she couldn’t believe how generous you all were. You truly made a positive impact on her life and helped her during some very difficult times…

We hope that during this difficult time you can find solace in knowing how important you were for making the end of Maggie’s life much better.

Learn more