Everett Greenbaum
Born(1919-12-20)December 20, 1919
DiedJuly 11, 1999(1999-07-11) (aged 79)
Occupation(s)TV and film screenwriter and actor
Years active1953-1999
Spouse(s)Deane Ward, (1957-1999, his death)
Children1 daughter, Billie Shane

Everett Greenbaum (December 20, 1919 – July 11, 1999) was an American television and film writer and actor who contributed to such shows as The Andy Griffith Show (24 Episodes), M*A*S*H (35 Episodes), Love American Style, The Real McCoys (32 Episodes), Sanford and Son, and The George Gobel Show. Greenbaum was a co-writer with Jim Fritzell of Mister Peepers an important early television show created by David Swift and starring Wally Cox. He wrote the Hollywood feature film Good Neighbor Sam, as well as a series of films starring Don Knotts that included The Shakiest Gun in the West, The Reluctant Astronaut, and The Ghost and Mr. Chicken.[1]

Life and career

Born and raised in Buffalo, New York, Greenbaum studied at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) and the Sorbonne in Paris. Following service as a Navy pilot during World War II, Greenbaum moved to New York City to try his luck as a writer. He began work in radio as writer, producer and star of "Greenbaum's Gallery". He also wrote continuity for a radio series starring the Canadian folk singer Oscar Brand.[2][3]

In the mid 1950s, Greenbaum teamed with Jim Fritzell and collaborated on scripts for the TV series Mister Peepers (1952), a stylish sitcom starring Wally Cox as a timid small-town science teacher; it also gave Tony Randall his first important role. When the series was cancelled, NBC-TV received over 10,000 letters of protest. A month later Mr. Peepers returned, running for three years and winning a Peabody Award.[4]

In a 32-year partnership, Greenbaum and Fritzell also won three Writers' Guild awards and four Emmy nominations, and collaborated on more than 150 scripts. These included the Walter Brennan sitcom The Real McCoys (1957–62), The Andy Griffith Show (1960–68) and M*A*S*H, on which they worked for five years, contributing 35 episodes. On his own, Greenbaum wrote two books, including the memoir The Goldenberg Who Couldn't Dance, and 'The Tenth Life of Osiris Oaks' (with Wally Cox), and worked on The George Gobel Show. He also acted in brief roles on Mr. Peeper's (recurring), Griffith's Matlock (recurring), and series and other programs.[5][6]

Greenbaum died at the age of 79 in Los Angeles, California; he was survived by his wife Deane, and a daughter, Billie Shane (Greenbaum).[7] In a book published the year of Greenbaum's death, Don Knotts recalled of him, "Everett would come up with lines right out of the blue that would knock you off your seat. He also had an infectious cackle that was familiar to all his friends, and he had a multitude of friends."[8]


Year Title Role Notes
1966 The Ghost and Mr. Chicken Man Saying 'Attaboy Luther' Voice, Uncredited
1993 Trouble Bound Old Man


  1. ^ ÷internet movie data base
  2. ^ Max Wilk (1989), The Golden Age of Television: Notes from the Survivors, Moyer Bell, ISBN 978-1-55921-000-3
  3. ^ Fritz, Ben. "Everett Greenbaum". Variety. Retrieved 22 December 2015.
  4. ^ Richard Michael Kelly (1981), The Andy Griffith Show, John F. Blair, Publisher, pp. 113–, ISBN 978-0-89587-043-8
  5. ^ Everett Greenbaum:Obituary, by Dick Vosburgh, for The Independent (UK), August 5, 1999, accessed May 27, 2013.
  6. ^ Tom Stempel (1996), Storytellers to the Nation: A History of American Television Writing, Syracuse University Press, pp. 109–, ISBN 978-0-8156-0368-9
  7. ^ "Everett Greenbaum, 79, Comedy Writer". The New York Times. July 20, 1999. Retrieved 20 April 2015.
  8. ^ Knotts, Don; Metz, Robert (1999). Barney Fife, and Other Characters I Have Known. New York: Berkley Boulevard Books. pp. 174–184. ISBN 9780783888224. OCLC 1028652483.