Which regular cast member of “The Andy Griffith Show” was born in Petoskey, Michigan? Was it Andy? Barney? Aunt Bee? Opie? Ernest T. Bass? Helen Crump? Thelma Lou? Gomer? Goober? Floyd the barber?

Ten times NO.

The Michigander who became one of Mayberry’s most beloved characters was Hal Smith, who played town drunk ‘Otis Campbell’ on that classic television program.

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Hal was born in Petoskey on August 24, 1916. He spent his childhood in Petoskey and then when he was seven, the family moved to North Carolina…then on to New York. Hal later became a deejay for WIBX in Utica and after World War II, he split for Hollywood. He found voice work and some acting jobs on many TV shows of the 50s and 60s like “The Donna Reed Show”, “Dennis the Menace”, “The Texan”, “The Adventures of Ozzie and Harriet”, “The Red Skelton Show”, and many, many others.

His claim to fame was playing Otis Campbell on the wildly (still) successful Griffith show, from 1960 to 1968.  Whenever drunk, Otis would let himself into a jail cell, lock himself in, and sleep it off. In real life, actors Griffith and Don Knotts said that Hal was not a drinker, although very successful at portraying one. So why did Otis stop showing up in the last season of the show? Sponsors of the show were not happy that Otis was a chronic drinker and thought it set a bad example.

Hal kept appearing on more TV shows and movies and did lots of voice work for some of the most popular cartoon shows of the era: Huckleberry Hound, The Flintstones, The Pink Panther, Quick Draw McGraw, Winnie the Pooh, Yogi Bear, Smurfs, Duck Tales, Space Angel and countless others. He even did the voice of Elmer Fudd from 1960-1961 after original Fudd voicer Arthur Q. Bryan passed away.

More than likely you saw or heard Hal on many commercials, including Kellogg’s, Pizza Hut, 3 Musketeers, Green Giant, Chicken of the Sea, Ivory Soap, Mattel, Hickory Farms, Toyota, and others.

Hal died in January 1994, supposedly from a heart attack. He was buried in Santa Monica…NOT Petoskey where he should've been. Take a look at a few photos of Hal as Otis in the gallery below...

Hal (Otis Campbell) Smith, from Petoskey

 

MORE FAMOUS MICHIGANDERS:

The Life of Verne Troyer

The Actors Colony, 1908-1938

Aretha Franklin's Childhood Michigan Home

 

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