‘The Andy Griffith Show’: Betty Lynn Once Opened Up About Being Barney’s Girlfriend

by Anna Dunn

The Andy Griffith Show actress Betty Lynn once opened up about what it was like playing Thelma Lou, girlfriend of the iconic Barney Fife. Lynn, who starred in multiple productions in film and theatre, recently passed away at 95. In rare footage from a Mayberry cast reunion in Nashville, the actress gets real.

Towards the end of the first year on the show, Lou became Barney Fife’s girlfriend. The actress talked about how Barney had a few girlfriends before her character came along. In the interview, the shocking high school reunion where Lou shows up with someone else is brought up.

” I was shocked when I got the script,” she said. “I had no idea and I read this and I thought ‘what?!'”

Opie Actor Ron Howard Recently Paid Tribute to his Fellow ‘The Andy Griffith Show’ Actor

Following the death of Betty Lynn, love and support flooded in from those who knew her. Ron Howard, who played young Opie, had incredibly kind things to say about the actress.

“RIP Betty Lynn. She played Thelma Lou on #TAGS & brightened every scene she was in & every shooting day she was on set. I saw her last a few years ago where she still lit up the room with her positivity. It was great to have known and worked with her. She truly was 95yrs young,” he wrote in a tweet. He included a photo of her playing Thelma, kissing Barney Fife on the Cheek.

“She had such a positive spirit & energy. She and our mom were good pals on the set,” he said in another tweet.

Lynn once Ignored advice to be more Selfish From A Fellow Starlet

Lynn was known for her incredible kindness and sweet nature by her co-workers and directors. It’s what made her friendship with the notoriously more forceful Bette Davis a surprise. But the two became incredibly close after starring in a film together.

According to MeTV, Davis told the Younger actress that she was never #1 in her own life and if she continued with that mentality, she’d never be a star. But Lynn decided to ignore that advice, deciding to remain true to herself over any potential fame she could gain otherwise.

What possibly did hurt Lynn’s career was her honesty in a different way. She didn’t realize that Film execs hated live TV, and when she auditioned for films, she would tell them that she loved it. It made for an awkward situation in the casting room, and potentially hurt her career.

Still, Lynn went on to do plenty of incredible projects. But her work on The Andy Griffith Show is definitely amongst her well-known appearances. It looks like she brought all that kindness and selflessness with her to the set of that show, where it was welcomed.