Betty Lynn, who played Thelma Lou on The Andy Griffith Show once ignored advice from a fellow Hollywood starlet to be “more selfish.” News broke today that Lynn passed away. Now, tributes and memories of the star are pulling in. Her refusal to be more selfish in order to get ahead is just one of the many stories that are surfacing about the starlet.
According to MeTV, starlet Bette Davis told Lynn to be more selfish if she wanted to get ahead in the industry. Bette and Betty met co-starred in multiple films together including June Bride and Payment on Demand. The two became incredibly close friends despite the fact that they were frequently described as polar opposites.
Bett was notoriously sour and pessimistic while Lynn was known to be very sweet. Bette called Lynn “Boo” as a nickname and was very fond of the younger star.
“You are not No. 1 in your life,” she told the younger actress once, “and you’ll never be a star.”
Betty Lynn, however, didn’t mind not being a star if it meant being selfish. She found great success playing Thelma Lou on The Andy Griffith Show and had a great time filming with the likes of Bette Davis in other works. Lynn and Davis knew each other before her work on The Andy Griffith Show, where she did find major mainstream success.
The ‘Andy Griffith Show’ Star’s Success on Live TV Hurt her Film Career
On top of The Andy Griffith Show, Lynn found a passion for television and loved starring in live TV shows. But according to a 2012 interview, the star didn’t realize that movie producers hated the live TV scene, and her role in it made them not want to cast her.
“The studios hated television. When they asked me what I had been doing, I said, ‘I’ve been doing live television, it’s absolutely wonderful, it’s like doing a play!’” she explained. But that was not a good thing to say to producers at the time. She was essentially enthusing about their competitor.
“They’d all just freeze. I didn’t understand that they were having great difficulty because people were staying home instead of going to the movies. I was making a complete fool of myself.”
Seemingly, there were many moments where Betty Lynn tried to stay true in an industry that doesn’t always encourage it. She brought joy to millions of Americans with her roles, but especially as Thelma Lou on The Andy Griffith Show, the sweet girlfriend of the bumbling deputy Barney Fife.
While Barney and Thelma never married on the show, they did wind up getting married in a special later on.
Lynn lived a life full of impressive work. She was 95 when she passed away.