Lynn died peacefully at her retirement home in Mount Airy, North Carolina, after a brief illness. She moved to the town in 2006, working closely with The Andy Griffith Museum that popped up there. Mount Airy is the inspiration for the fictional town of Mayberry.
In the show, Howard played Griffith’s young son Opie Taylor. Lynn played Thelma Lou, the on-again-off-again girlfriend of Deputy Barney Fife. Don Knotts played Fife for five years, and Lynn exited the show shortly after Knotts did.
Earlier today, Howard shared an article detailing Lynn’s death and once again expressed his sorrow at her passing.
“RIP Betty. She had such a positive spirit & energy. She and our mom were good pals on the set,” the star from “The Andy Griffith Show” said. Howard’s mom, Jean Speegle Howard, was also an actress before she decided to focus on raising her children.
This isn’t the first time Howard spoke to Betty Lynn’s positivity. When the news of her death first broke, Howard was one of the first people to mourn the loss.
“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,” Howard wrote in a Twitter post. He also shared a photo of Lynn kissing Knotts on the cheek.
Tributes to ‘The Andy Griffith Show’ Star Betty Lynn Pour in Online
“The Andy Griffith Show” star Ron Howard wasn’t the only one to pay tribute to Thelma Lou actress Betty Lynn. Others shared their grief as well, especially online.
“Sad day in Mayberry. Betty Lynn, better known as Barney Fife’s forever girl Thelma Lou on the Andy Griffith Show, passed away peacefully Saturday night in Mount Airy, N.C. (Andy’s hometown) after a brief illness. She had celebrated her 95th birthday on Aug. 29,” wrote pro wrestler Mike Mooneyham.
Writer and reporter Matt Jones also said, “RIP Betty Lynn, who played Thelma Lou and passed away today at the age of 95. She was a much better girlfriend than Helen Crump and was a great singer who made the best cashew fudge in all of Mayberry.”
One Twitter user named Lora Stocker even shared a photo of a time she met Lynn at The Andy Griffith Museum in Mount Airy, North Carolina.
“I’m so sad to hear that #BettyLynn passed away this weekend. I met her in 2018 at the #AndyGriffith Museum in #MountAiryNC. She was LOVELY! We talked about her experiences working with #BetteDavis & #CliftonWebb. The museum has an exhibit about her life & career,” Stocker shared.