As one of the most mysterious figures on The Andy Griffith Show, Mr. McBeevee left a lasting impression on the CBS sitcom’s viewers. TV veteran Karl Swenson portrayed the memorable character during a 1962 episode. Scroll below to find out what happened to him after the show. 

Who Was Karl Swenson?

Swenson was born in 1908 in Brooklyn, New York. He initially planned on studying to become a doctor but realized acting was his true passion. In the early days of his career, Swenson acted under the stage name Peter Wayne. 

Prior to his one-time appearance on The Andy Griffith Show, Swenson performed on Broadway in several productions, including A Glass of Water, Carry Nation, One Sunday Afternoon, House of Remsen and more. He was also a popular radio personality, lending his voice to a multitude of audio series from the ‘30s to the ‘50s. 

What Happened to Karl Swenson After ‘The Andy Griffith Show’? 

Some of his earliest appearances on television included roles in Goodyear Playhouse, Ponds Theater, I Spy and Alice in Wonderland. In 1958, the entertainer landed a six-episode arc in Have Gun – Will Travel. Eventually, the opportunity to portray Mr. McBeevee on The Andy Griffith Show came knocking. 

In the episode titled “Mr. McBeevee,” Opie Taylor, played by Ron Howard, described a man he met in the woods named Mr. McBeevee. Andy Griffith’s Andy Taylor and Don Knotts’ Barney Fife believed Mr. McBeevee was just a figment of Opie’s imagination. Eventually, Andy took a drive out into the woods to meet the mysterious character himself, shocked to find that he was actually a real person who walked on treetops and wore a silver hat. 

What Happened to The Andy Griffith Show's Karl Swenson?
Courtesy of YouTube/CBS

Though Swenson only made a single appearance on The Andy Griffith Show, the episode still remains a fan favorite. The performer did end up acting in an episode of the show’s spinoff, Gomer Pyle, U.S.M.C., as Colonel Harper. 

He later appeared in Perry Mason, Bonanza, Gunsmoke and other popular shows among his 175 acting credits. From 1974 to 1978, Swenson played Lars Hanson, the founder of Walnut Grove, in Little House on the Prairie

What Was Karl Swenson’s Cause of Death? 

Swenson died from a heart attack at age 70 on October 8, 1978, a few days before his final episode of Little House on the Prairie aired on television. He was survived by his wife, Joan Tompkins, and four sons from a previous marriage.