Howard McNear began his career as a dramatic actor in theater, but discovered his flair for comedy on The George Gobel Show in the mid-'50s. Besides his role as Floyd Lawson, a staple player on The Andy Griffith Show, Howard McNear had a healthy career as a comic guest player on a number of TV shows, including The Twilight Zone, I Love Lucy, Gunsmoke and Honey West.
McNear also appeared in several big-screen productions, including Voyage to the Bottom of the Sea, Blue Hawaii and The Fortune Cookie, as well as recording the voices of several characters on the animated series The Jetsons. McNear suffered a stroke in the middle of the fourth season of The Andy Griffith Show. He took some time off, but continued to make appearances on the show whenever his health permitted. He died in 1969.
Floyd is the perpetually nervous town barber with a unique line of logic. He is whimsical, laid back, and sometimes excitable. His barbershop is an institution in Mayberry. The men gather there, not only to get their hair cut, but to play checkers, discuss current events, or just to shoot the breeze. Floyd is an amateur poet and sometimes composed poems for town events.