Originally a theatrical actor, Jack Dodson joined the cast of The Andy Griffith Show as county clerk Howard Sprague in 1965. He remained on the series for the next five years, reprising the role in Mayberry, R.F.D. as well as in the TV movie Return to Mayberry. When his tenure in Mayberry ended, Dodson made appearances on Happy Days (as Ralph's father), Mork & Mindy, Barney Miller, Hawaii Five-O, Newhart and Matlock. He also played a few uncharacteristic dramatic roles, including those in the features Thunderbolt and Lightfoot, The Getaway and the PBS production, Concealed Enemies. Dodson died of heart failure on September 16, 1994.