The Andy Griffith Show Rerun Watchers Club's Mayberry FAQs
Floyd / Howard McNear
ANSWERS
  1. When did Floyd the Barber pass away? He is such a great character! What else can you tell me about the actor who played him?
    Howard McNear, who played Floyd the Barber (except in the first episode with Floyd, "Stranger in Town," Episode #10), passed away on January 3, 1969. You can read more about Howard McNear in the in-depth profile about him in Volume 7, Issue 3 of The Bullet. You'll also find a good bit of discussion about Howard McNear in Richard Kelly's book, The Andy Griffith Show, and there's a nice biographical sketch of him in the new Definitive Andy Griffith Show Reference. He was beloved by all who knew him.
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  2. What was the name of Floyd's son?
    Norman is one of Floyd's sons but he had two!!

    Some of the TAGS books (and several of you folks, btw :-) say Norman plays the sax, but there is no evidence in the series to support this claim. Yes, Floyd has a son who plays the sax (seen in #15 "Those Gossipin' Men") and yes, Floyd has a son named Norman who plays baseball (mentioned in #49 "The Jinx") but the son seen playing the sax is RANDALL. Listen closely and you will hear Floyd call his son Randall (or maybe Wendell), right after Mr. Finch says, "Those three tunes were very nice." Floyd says to his son, "Hear that, Randall? That means a lot coming from a man like Mr. Finch." --Paul Mulik
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  3. Has anyone ever noticed that Floyd's glasses seem to be without glass in them?
    Probably what happened was that the stage lights were reflecting off the lenses and ruining the camera shots, so the costume department made him a special pair without lenses. In some episodes, you can see actual lenses in the frames (especially the later episodes).

    Reflections are a common problem, especially when filming outdoors. The Mayberry squad cars had rather dull paint, especially the 1960 model, which looked like somebody scrubbed it all over with coarse steel wool. --Paul Mulik
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  4. On one episode, in the background, we see what looks like the barber outside the barbershop with a customer, but it ain't Floyd.
    Since Howard McNear wasn't able to walk or stand normally after his stroke, they often used a stand-in for him in long camera shots (such as when people outside looked in through the barber shop window), or scenes where Floyd was required to drive a car. Perhaps you saw his double.

    On most shows, it's standard procedure for the main cast members to have doubles. That way, when they need to shoot a scene where the character's face is not seen, they can just bring in the double, and the star can take a break. Check out page 80 in the new "Mayberry Memories" book and you can see someone who looks an awful lot like Barney Fife on the left side of the picture; I've often wondered if that was Don's double who just happened to accidentally get caught on film at the same time as Don. The same photo can be seen on page 86 of "The Definitive Andy Griffith Show Reference." --Paul Mulik
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