Arlene Golonka (1936-2021)


Actress Arlene Golonka, who made a memorable guest appearance during during Season 1, died on Monday (May 31) at the age of 85. Golonka’s played accident-prone Nurse Edwina “Eddie” Ferguson, who none of the men at the 4077th wanted anything to do with.

Arlene Golonka as Nurse Edwina "Eddie" Ferguson in the Season 1 episode "Edwina"
Arlene Golonka as Nurse Edwina “Eddie” Ferguson in the Season 1 episode “Edwina”

Golonka is perhaps best known to television audiences for her recurring role as Millie Swanson on Mayberry R.F.D. from 1968 to 1971. She made dozens of guest appearances throughout the 1960s and 1970s on TV shows like Car 54, Where Are You?, The Flying Nun, The Rookies, Maude, The Rockford Files, and The Love Boat.

In addition to her television work, Golonka also appeared in a number of Broadway plays and feature films.

Obituaries can be found at Deadline Hollywood, The Hollywood Reporter, and Variety.

3 Replies to “Arlene Golonka (1936-2021)”

  1. It’s been a bad week for “M*A*S*H” guest stars whose character name also served as the title to their episode….

  2. I know Edwina is hated by many M*A*S*H fans but I actually enjoy the episode (it is not in my top 25 but it is not in my bottom 25 either).

    I also liked Golonka’s character on Mayberry.


  3. I know this is a much reviled episode, but this was the very first episode I ever watched which made me fall in love with the show. I really cannot fault it for that reason. Besides there are some very funny line readings in here.

    When Hawkeye asks to sit with Edwina
    Edwina: You mean you want to sit together.
    Hawkeye: I tried sitting apart. It was very painful.

    Also, when Hawkeye is injured during the date
    Hawkeye: Why don’t we pretend we’re waiting for the bus, or in my case, an ambulance.

    RIP Arlene Golonka. You made a memorable impression in your one and only episode leading to life long love of the show.

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