A post to Peterson’s Facebook page says the 81-year-old passed away in her sleep Sunday surrounded by family. Peterson’s health had taken a “turn for the worse after the death of her husband Gus [Mancuso].” He died of Alzheimer’s disease last year, according to the Associated Press.
The Andy Griffith Museum also paid tribute to Peterson, saying in part, “Maggie will forever be remembered by Mayberry Fans as Charlene Darling … We will miss you Maggie.”
In one episode of the show, Charlene fell for Sheriff Andy Taylor.
Peterson also appeared in “Casino, “Love American Style,” “Green Acres,” “Gomer Pyle USMC,” and “The Odd Couple.” She appeared in an episode of “Mayberry R.F.D.,” the films “Return to Mayberry,” “The Love God?,” and “Angel in My Pocket.”
Her most recent projects, according to IMDb, include “Pay It Forward” in 2000 and “Mars Attacks!” in 1996.
Peterson’s family says a private service will be planned in the next few weeks.
A fellow actor from “The Andy Griffith Show,” Betty Lynn, best known for her role as Barney Fife’s sweetheart Thelma Lou, died in October after a brief illness. She was 95.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.