Mary Weaver Dodson, Art Director on 'Murder, She Wrote,' Dies at 83

The four-time Emmy Award nominee was the sister of actor Fritz Weaver and the wife of Jack Dodson, who played Howard Sprague on 'The Andy Griffith Show.'

Mary Weaver Dodson, a four-time Emmy-nominated art director known for her work on Murder, She Wrote, has died. She was 83.

Dodson, believed to be the first woman to become a member of the Society of Motion Picture and Television Art Directors (now the Art Directors Guild), died Feb. 15 of complications from Parkinson’s disease, her family announced. She was a resident of Woodland Hills, Calif.

Survivors include her older brother, actor Fritz Weaver. Her husband was the late Jack Dodson, who played the county clerk Howard Sprague on The Andy Griffith Show and Mayberry R.F.D.

Dodson was listed as the art director on 102 of the 264 episodes (plus four telefilms) of the longtime CBS whodunit Murder, She Wrote, starring Angela Lansbury. She was nominated three times for her work on the series and earned another mention for the 1996 telefilm Mrs. Santa Claus, which was toplined by Lansbury as well.

Dodson also did duty on such shows as The Jack Benny Hour, Battlestar Galactica, Falcon Crest, Full House, Taxi and Columbo.

A native of Pittsburgh, Dodson graduated with a bachelor’s degree in theater from Carnegie Tech University, then became an art director in New York, where she got work on The Tonight Show Starring Johnny Carson.

Survivors also include daughters Amy and Cristina, granddaughter Samantha and brother Daniel.

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