‘The Andy Griffith Show’: The Woman Who Played Barney Fife’s Mom Has Amazing Connection to ‘I Love Lucy’

by Katie Maloney

Do you remember the episode of The Andy Griffith Show when viewers met Barney’s mom?

Most fans may not recall the scene between Barney and his mother. It took place early on in the series and the scene was pretty quick. In the second-ever episode of The Andy Griffith Show titled, “The Manhunt,” Andy and Barney search for an escaped criminal. Being the ever-diligent police officer that he is, Barney pulls over every person he sees. He stops and frisks Mayor Pike. He even pulls over his own mother.

During the scene, Barney frisks who we think is a random woman and says, “Sorry about this. But us lawmen can’t take any chances.” The woman turns around and says, “But Barney, I’m your mother!” But Barney doesn’t care. As far as he’s concerned, anyone could be hiding an escaped criminal in their car. It’s a quick interaction and viewers never see Mrs. Fife again. But Barney does mention her a few more times throughout The Andy Griffith Show.

Barney fife frisks his mother in The Andy Griffith Show.

How Is Barney’s Mom Connected To I Love Lucy?

Lillian Culver, who played Mrs. Fife on The Andy Griffith Show, was married to a prominent real-estate developer named Robert Culver. As a couple, the two had a very interesting connection to the show, I Love Lucy. A year after Lillian and Robert were married, Robert Culver announced his plans to build a new city. Naturally, he called the town Culver City and it was located just southwest of Hollywood. The city quickly became a prominent place for the entertainment industry. Silent film legend Hal Roach built his studio in the city, as did MGM. Additionally, RKO Pictures constructed its RKO Forty Acres studio lot in Culver City. Guess who later bought Forty Acres studio? If you guessed Lucille Ball and Desi Arnaz, then you’re right! The couple bought the studio through their company Desilu Productions. Under their ownership, the studio became the set for many television series including The Andy Griffith Show. So, in a way, Barney’s mom actually owned the entire town of Mayberry.

Barney’s Mother From The Andy Griffith Show Also Appeared On Another Classic Television Sitcom

Although the scene between Barney and Mrs. Fife was short on The Andy Griffith Show, keen-eyed viewers may recognize Mrs. Fife from another role. Lillian Culver was best known for her recurring role as the town busybody and socialite Mrs. Schooner on Dennis the Menace.