Along with the usual cast of characters who enjoy visiting Mayberry Days every year like Elinor Donahue and Ronnie Schell, this year Emmy and OBIE award-winning actress Peggy McCay, who is best known as Caroline Brady on NBC-TV’s daytime drama “Days of Our Lives,” will be in attendance this year.
McCay played the role of Andy’s high school sweetheart in the High School Reunion episode of “The Andy Griffith Show.” She said she wanted to come to Mayberry Days this year to not only pay tribute to Andy Griffith, who died earlier this year, but to greet the fans of “The Andy Griffith Show” and “Days of Our Lives.”
“That episode where I played his sweetheart turned out to be one of the most popular. It was an outstanding show. It was such a great script,” said McCay.
The actress, who is passionate about animals, said she met 30 members of Andy Griffith’s fan club at an animal fundraiser in Asheville, who urged her to come to Mayberry Days this year.
While she is here, she will be entertaining when needed and signing autographs for fans. She said any money she raises from signing autographs will go to the Elephant Sanctuary in Hohenwald, Tenn.
Also while here, she’s hoping to perform the rap song she wrote about the plot lines of “Days of Our Lives.”
In talking about the time she spent working with Griffith, McCay said she was sad to hear of his death.
“I remember him (Griffith) with such fondness. To be that loved and remembered says a lot,” said McCay.
McCay is also long-time friends with actress Betty Lynn, who played Thelma Lou on “The Andy Griffith Show.”
“I know Betty very well and one of the reasons for that is that people confuse us. When I was working on the show, “Love of Life” and she was on “The Egg and I,” people would come up to her and call her Peggy and they would call me Betty,” said McCay.
She said one day, she and Lynn were in a washroom together and caught their reflection in a mirror.
“All of the sudden, we saw the resemblance. We look so alike with our features and our height. It was interesting to know that we had a double in life. Even though she has red hair and I don’t, we did look very much alike.”
McCay has five Emmy nominations to her credit and holds the honor of being the only actor to receive two Emmy nominations in the same year (1987): in daytime, she was nominated for Lead Actress for her work on “Days of Our Lives” and in prime time for Best Guest Actress for her work on “Cagney and Lacey.”
McCay took home the statue in 1991 for her performance as a homeless woman on “The Trials of Rosie O’Neill.” This same performance garnered her a special award from the John Henry Foundation which reads: “For your dignified and perceptive depiction of mental illness.”
McCay’s other nominations include Lead Actress for “Days of Our Lives” (1986) and the Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Miniseries category (1993) for her work as Tatum O’Neal’s mother in “Woman on the Run: The Lawrencia Bembenek Story.” The latter also earned her a nomination from the Canadian Academy for a Gemini Award, a rare achievement for an American.
McCay has been on “Days of Our Lives” for 18 years. She said she has loved every minute of it.
“I love the people I work for. It’s a lovely thing to go to work when you work with people you love,” said McCay.
Reach Mondee Tilley at firstname.lastname@example.org or at 719-1930.