R.I.P. Barbara Perry, Morey's wife on The Dick Van Dyke Show and Andy's would-be wife on The Andy Griffith Show
As the original Pickles Sorrell on The Dick Van Dyke Show, Barbara Perry featured in two episodes of the first season as the wife of Morey Amsterdam. Her high-pitched voice could be depended on to ask awkward questions like, "Don't you hate being alone on your birthday?" But when she smiled, it was like a light going on in the Petrie's living room.
Perry got her start as a dancer, so entertaining she was soon the opening act for icons like Peggy Lee and Lena Horne. She'd later transition to the big screen, appearing in a few movies in the 1930s and '40s, but primarily finding most of her work on and off Broadway. Later she'd go on to study dance in London, and when she returned to the U.S., she was ready for her TV debut in the late 1950s and early 1960s, seen on shows like The Twilight Zone, The Donna Reed Show and The Fugitive.
In the mid-1960s, Mayberry welcomed Perry four times. We watched her arrange the class reunion on The Andy Griffith Show and later she'd appear as a den mother on the show's spin-off Gomer Pyle, U.S.M.C., but even more notably, at one point, Thelma Lou tried to set her up with Sheriff Andy. In "A Wife for Andy," Perry played Lavinia, one of three women Andy gently disappoints once the whole town prematurely decides it's about time he settled down.
In her career, Perry appeared on dozens of hit shows right up to 2017, including Perry Mason, My Three Sons, Newhart, Murder, She Wrote, How I Met Your Mother and Baskets. She was the widow of pioneering Disney animator Art Babbitt who famously created Goofy. On May 5, Deadline reports that Perry passed away at the age of 97.