Andy Griffith Once Opened Up Fans’ Appreciation of Aunt Bee

by Madison Miller

Andy Griffith wasn’t the only famous face to come out of the popular TV series, “The Andy Griffith Show.” Although he was the main star and most popular face at the time, several other stars would emerge or grow even more popular from their time in the heartwarming series.

That includes people like Don Knotts, Ron Howard, and Frances Bavier, who played Aunt Bee on the show.

Andy Griffith Talks About Fans and Aunt Bee

She was like the maternal figure for both Andy Taylor and Opie Taylor on “The Andy Griffith.” Many people at home identified and adored her character, including Andy Griffith himself.

“I remember going down to what they call the Scout Jamboree, I guess that’s what it was a big Boy Scout thing … Most of them asked me about Aunt Bee. These were all young boys, little boys 12,13, 11, all identified with her. She’s a wonderful woman,” Andy Griffith said during a WEWS Morning Exchange interview with host Fred Griffith from 1972.

For “The Andy Griffith Show,” the entire series relied on having a lot of dynamic and engaging characters.

Although he speaks highly of Aunt Bee, Andy Griffith didn’t always get along with Frances Bavier. Apparently, Griffith really loved to play pranks and jokes on the rest of the cast and crew. Bavier, on the other hand, was not a fan of these pranks. She always wanted to stay professional on set, even when she wasn’t in character.

According to “Andy and Don: The Making of a Friendship and a Classic American TV Show,” Jim Nabors was actually the only cast member that really got along with Bavier. He played Gomer Pyle.

Later Years for Frances Bavier

Eventually, Frances Bavier retired from her role in the entertainment world and “The Andy Griffith Show.” She moved to Siler City, North Carolina, a town eerily like Mayberry, in 1972. She lived in this small town, kept to herself, and really rarely left her home at all.

During this time, she didn’t really have the best relationship with some of her fellow cast members. “Bavier refused to allow her decade-long coworkers inside, speaking to them only momentarily through the closed front door. This was after declining repeatedly to be part of their Mayberry reunion movie. Why would she participate? She never liked Andy Griffith from the very beginning,” the Triad City Beat described. This was when both Griffith and Ron Howard tried to visit her at home in 1986 and she wouldn’t let them in.

She would eventually make amends, however. Griffith said on Larry King Live in 1998 that Bavier called him the months leading up to her death. She apparently said she regretted some of her behavior on “The Andy Griffith Show.”