Oftentimes it is virtually impossible for a young performer in television to make the transition to more adult roles, but Elinor Donahue managed to break the mold given that she was able to seamlessly go from Father Knows Best to The Andy Griffith Show. Part of that, she believes, was because she had more or less grown up on the former. \u201cWhen I left Father Knows Best, I was playing a young woman rather than a child,\u201d she explains. \u201cI was actually 23 when we stopped, but I was playing 19. In the eyes of the world, I was a young woman and was launched into the rest of my career, already not having to make a huge transition from \u2018child\u2019 to an adult.\u201d RELATED: 'Father Knows Best' Star, Billy Gray, Reminisces on Childhood Fame A Short Time in Mayberry THE ANDY GRIFFITH SHOW, Elinor Donahue, Andy Griffith (ca. 1960-Season 1), 1960-68 The Andy Griffith Show made its debut in 1960, and Elinor was a part of it, playing pharmacist Ellie Walker, with the idea being that she would eventually become the girlfriend of Sheriff Andy Taylor (Andy Griffith) following a rocky start between the two of them. And while Ellie and Andy did begin to date, the relationship was a short-lived one with Elinor only appearing in a dozen episodes of the season, after which she asked to be released from her contract. FATHER KNOWS BEST, Elinor Donahue, 'Betty's Double' (Season 6, aired January 4, 1960), 1954-60 \u201cI went pretty much immediately from\u00a0Father Knows Best\u00a0into\u00a0The Andy Griffith Show\u00a0where I was really playing a grownup with a profession, and moxie and stuff,\u201d she says. \u201cBut the truth is, I felt like a bird out of a nest. I didn\u2019t feel like I had all my feathers yet and I didn\u2019t feel capable. It was the strangest feeling. I had a three-year contract for that show, but at the end of the first year I asked to be let out of it, because I didn\u2019t feel that I was playing the role properly. I just didn\u2019t feel right about it. In retrospect, from things that people have said to me \u2014 very lovely things \u2014 I was doing OK. I was just not a happy camper and there was no point in my trying to continue with it.\u201d FATHER KNOWS BEST, Lauren Chapin, Elinor Donahue, Robert Young, Billy Gray, Jane Wyatt, 1954-1960 There have also been stories that Andy Griffith\u00a0had a difficult time showing affection on set, and that hindered what was supposed to be a blossoming romance. Years later, Elinor attended an event and saw him there. She went up and apologized for having left the show. \u201cHe was as gracious to me as you could imagine,\u201d she smiles. \u201cHe said they just didn\u2019t know how to write for me. That could have been part of it. I didn\u2019t think there was any real chemistry there. They tried other women periodically, but then Aneta Corsaut came in. I have since read they had a hot and heavy thing going, and in that case he\u00a0was\u00a0able to relate.\u201d Elinor Donahue, 1964. One warm memory of her time on the show came when they were shooting that first season\u2019s Christmas episode, and she was extremely nervous about singing on camera. \u201cI didn\u2019t sing anymore, so I avoided it like the plague,\u201d she admits. \u201cThey wanted me to sing \u2018Away in a Manger\u2019 with Andy and I tried to get out of it. My mother said, \u2018Oh for heaven\u2019s sake, you sing that in church all the time, you can certainly sing that.\u2019 But I was very, very nervous about it. So at the end of filming one day, we met at a recording studio and he got a key. He could tell I was nervous and said, \u2018Just sit down here on the floor and I\u2019ll just noodle around with the guitar and you come in when you feel comfortable and we\u2019ll start. Just a rehearsal.\u2019 We started singing and sang through the whole thing. Then he said, \u2018Oh, that was very nice. Very good. Okay, that\u2019s it.\u2019 I said, \u2018What?\u2019 He faked me out, because he knew how nervous I was, and\u00a0that\u00a0was the take that they used. It was just very sweet.\u201d However, after I save, it becomes To hear Elinor Donahue in her own words regarding\u00a0Father Knows Best\u00a0and\u00a0The Andy Griffith Show, as well as people like\u00a0Gilligan's Island\u00a0star Dawn Wells and others, please visit the\u00a0TV RetroVision\u00a0podcast by clicking HERE.