Born Arline Golonka (she was named after 1930s film actress Arline Judge) Golonka trained as a singer and dancer from childhood and went professional in a summer-stock troupe while still in her teens. She studied at the Goodman Theatre in her native Chicago before striking out for New York, where she attended classes at the Actor's Studio and made her Broadway debut in the 1958 flop Night Circus. Her later Broadway credits include Take Me Along, Come Blow Your Horn, and One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest; in the latter production, she played a good-natured, empty-headed hooker, a role she'd repeat with variations throughout the 1960s. Before relocating to Los Angeles in 1967 to appear in Penelope, Golonka had accumulated dozens of New York-based film credits, including the 1965 theatrical feature Harvey Middleman, Fireman (1965). Best known for her portrayal of Millie Swanson on TV's Mayberry RFD (1968-71), Arlene Golonka was also a regular on Joe and Valerie (1978-79) and has been seen in such films as Hang 'Em High (1967), The Busy Body (1968) and The In-Laws (1977).