Maggie Peterson, the Star of 'The Andy Griffith Show' and 'The Bill Dana Show,' Has Died at 81

Leila Kozma - Author

May 17 2022, Published 12:57 p.m. ET

The award-winning actress and singer who first skyrocketed to fame with Charlene Darling's role on The Andy Griffith Show died on Sunday, May 15 at age 81. Maggie Mancuso (née Maggie Peterson) built a mightily successful career as a singer and TV show and movie star.

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Maggie Mancuso (née Maggie Peterson) died on May 15, 2022. What was her cause of death?

Maggie first entered the spotlight in 1963 with an episodic role on The Andy Griffith Show. She starred in The Andy Griffith Show spin-offs like Gomer Pyle: USMC and Mayberry R.F.D. In 1964, Maggie landed Susie the Waitress's role on The Bill Dana Show, a comedy show exploring the life of bellboy and social butterfly José Jiménez.

Maggie's cause of death has yet to be revealed to the public.

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Maggie's family shared the devastating news on Facebook on Monday, May 16.

"It is with great sorrow that we report that our dear Aunt Maggie died yesterday afternoon (Sunday, May 15). She passed peacefully in her sleep with her family present," they wrote. "Maggie's health took a turn for the worse after the death of her husband Gus, and we are relieved that we were able to move her home to be close to family for her last days."

Maggie lost her life a year after the tragic passing of her husband, Gus Mancuso. A jazz musician and multi-instrumentalist credited as a contributor on songs like "How Do You Like Your Eggs in the Morning" and "Ev'ry Time," Gus made a name for himself on the Las Vegas jazz scene and far beyond. Frequently hailed as Mr. Las Vegas Jazz, Gus spent around 65 years of his life delighting revelers with his music.

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According to various reports, Maggie first met Gus while performing as the opening act for Andy Griffith at a casino in Lake Tahoe. They married in 1978. They settled down in Las Vegas, staying together until Gus's tragic death in December 2021. Gus died following a prolonged battle with Alzheimer's disease.

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Maggie suffered injuries as a result of a series of falls circa 2020.

Maggie's relatives set up a GoFundMe to raise money to cover her healthcare costs in 2020, per The Sun. On the GoFundMe page, Maggie gave a brief outline of her health issues, which she described as the result of a series of falls. "I have had several injuries and surgeries to my shoulders, which have left both arms partially paralyzed and in pain. In addition, I have an undiagnosed weakness in my legs," Maggie wrote.

"These conditions led to a series of falls in the last six months resulting in stitches on both sides of my face, broken ribs, re-injury to my shoulders, a concussion, and a severely broken left ankle, which required surgery," she added. "I truly fear that I may not be able to live without care until I successfully rehabilitate from my current injuries."

Our thought's are with Maggie's friends, family, and fans at this time.

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