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Arlene Golonka (born January 23, 1936) is an American actress. She is perhaps best known for playing Millie Swanson on the television comedies The Andy Griffith Show and Mayberry R.F.D., and often portrayed bubbly, eccentric blondes in supporting character roles on stage, film, and television. Golonka was born in Chicago in 1936 of Polish descent. She began her acting career in her early teens and went professional in a summer-stock troupe. After studying at the prestigious Goodman Theatre in her native Chicago, she made her way to New York City, where she studied with Lee Strasberg, Sanford Meisner and Uta Hagen. She appeared in her first major production, The Night Circus with Ben Gazzara, at the Shubert Theater in New Haven, Connecticut on November 17, 1958. After a week-long trial run, the play moved to Broadway on December 2, 1958, but closed after only seven performances.