Who Was Barbara Bray Edwards, Andy Griffith’s First Spouse?

Barbara Bray Edwards is the first wife of the late Andy Griffith, the popular American actor, comedian, and performer. She was born on August 17, 1926, but died on July 23, 1980. She was a renowned American actress and singer who is remembered for her sensational appearance in The Andy Griffith Show (1960).

Barbara Edwards, unfortunately, met her demise on July 23, 1980, when she was fifty-three years old. She died years before her ex-husband, Andy, passed away on 3 July 2012. However, even though she is no more, her name remains on the lips of many who are also interested in knowing more about Andy Griffith’s first wife, Barbara Bray Edwards.

Barbara Bray Edwards’ Biography Summary

  • Full name: Barbara Bray Edwards
  • Nickname: Barbara
  • Gender: Female 
  • Date of birth: August 17, 1926
  • Date of Death: July 23, 1980
  • Age at the Time of Death: 53 years 
  • Place of Birth: Wilson, North Carolina, United States 
  • Ethnicity: White
  • Nationality: American 
  • Zodiac Sign: Leo
  • Sexual Orientation: Straight 
  • Religion: Christian 
  • Marital Status: Divorced 
  • Barbara Bray Edwards’ Husband: Andy Griffith (married 1949; divorced 1972), Michael St. Clair (married 1975)
  •  Barbara Bray Edwards’ Children: Andy Samuel Griffith Jr., Dixie Nann Griffith
  • Barbara Bray Edwards’ Parents: James Spurgeon Edwards (father),  Dixie Vance Lamm Edwards (Mother)
  • Hair Color: Dark Brown
  • Eye Colour: Brown 
  • Occupation: Actress, musician 
  • Famous for: Andy Griffith’s Ex-wife

Barbara Bray Edwards was Born in North Carolina

Barbara Bray Edwards was born on 17 August 1926 in Wilson, North Carolina, United States. Her zodiac sign is Leo, and she is a Christian who holds American nationality and is of White ethnicity. Barbara was born to Spurgeon Edwards (father) and Dixie Vance Lamm Edwards (Mother).

However, not much is known about Barbara’s childhood. But she grew up loving music and would later delve into the music industry. She started singing in her university days and enrolled at the Santa Lucia. Although Barbara never had a major hit in the music industry, she nonetheless has some works and credits to her name, including Frances Bavier, Olan Soule, and Reta Shaw.

Barbara Edwards also had a decent education. After completing high school, she enrolled at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill for her tertiary education. However, the course she studied and the year she graduated remains a mystery.

She And Andy Griffith Got Married In 1949

Who Was Barbara Bray Edwards, Andy Griffith’s First Spouse?
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Actress Barbara Bray Edwards and performer Andy Griffith got married in 1949. She was Andy Griffith’s first wife and the mother of two of his children. Aside from being a famous actress, she was also recognized as a partner of Andy. Barbara met her husband, Andy, during college, where she was a soprano and his Chapel Hill classmate. 

A few months after Andy and Barbara graduated from the university, they decided to get married. Their wedding ceremony was a relatively small one, attended by close friends and relatives. The couple were in love and supported each other marriage and career-wise.

They Supported Each Other’s Career 

After their wedding, Barbara and Andy settled in Goldsboro, North Carolina, US, where Andy taught music in a high school. They later journeyed to New York City to see if they could build a new career in the music industry. However, after attending different auditions, Andy wasn’t picked, and he was advised to focus on his day job.

Barbara and Andy did quite a lot together and achieved a lot in the early years of their marriage in their journey to finding a place in the entertainment industry. They even engaged in several tours around community centers in the state, which would later give Andy significant progress in his career. He later became the star of a popular TV show titled The Andy Griffith Show.

Barbara even made an appearance on the show as Sharon. However, she only spoke one line in what would be her only television credit. Together, Andy Griffith and Barbara Edwards were able to do major exploits in the entertainment scene.

Barbara and Andy were married from 1949 to 1972. Unfortunately, their fairytale romance came to an end in 1972 when the pair decided it was best to go their separate ways after 23 years of marriage. The reasons for their shocking divorce remain a mystery to this day.

Barbara Bray Edwards’ Children Were Adopted

In their over two decades of marriage, Barbara and her husband couldn’t bear children of their own. So they adopted and took home two children. The name of their kids are Dixie Griffith and the late Andy Samuel Griffith Jr. Andy. Barbara’s first son, Andy Griffith Jr., grew up to become a real estate developer.

Unfortunately, he died of complications as a result of alcoholism in 1996. Before his demise, Andy Jr. suffered from liver cirrhosis and other health complications. He had developed those health problems due to years of alcohol abuse.

On the other hand, Barbara’s only daughter, Dixie Griffith, was born and raised in an orphanage before she was adopted. Even though she was the daughter of a famous personality, Dixie decided to live a quiet life, away from the media and continues to keep a low profile.

Who Was Barbara Bray Edwards, Andy Griffith’s First Spouse?
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What Happened to Andy Griffith’s Wife On The Andy Griffith Show?

Three years after her divorce from Andy Griffith, Barbara Bray Edwards got married to Michael St. Clair in 1975.  On the other hand, her ex-husband, Andy, also married another woman named Solica Cassuto. However, Barbara and Michael never had any children of their own.

Barbara Bray Edwards died on 23 July 1980 in Beverly Hills. And she was fifty-three years old at that time. She was buried in Forest Lawn Memorial Park (Hollywood Hills) in Los Angeles County, California, United States. However, the cause of her death remains a mystery. She is survived by her husband, Michael St. Clair, and daughter, Dixie Griffith.

Similarly, Barbara’s ex-husband, Andy Griffith, died years later. He was diagnosed with Guillain–Barré syndrome in April 1983. On 9 May 2000, he underwent quadruple heart-bypass surgery, and on 5 September 2007, hip surgery. Griffith finally passed away on 3 July 2012 from a heart attack he had the previous day; he died at age 86 and was buried in Manteo, North Carolina.

Chidiebube has been writing and editing articles on movies, entertainment and other juicy things for several years. When he is not writing, he spends time outdoors, lost in the beauty of nature or simply travelling around the world. Thank goodness he can do the later with any internet-enabled device


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