Andy Griffith and ‘Aunt Bee’ Didn’t Get Along Off-Screen: Here’s Why

by Will Shepard
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The Andy Griffith Show is an iconic show that crossed a lot of generations of TV viewers. It recently has been on a lot of streaming services and seen a rejuvenation with new viewers. Andy Griffith played Andy Taylor in the show for 249 episodes. Many of which were alongside Aunt Bee Taylor (Frances Bavier).

The relationship that Aunt Bee and Andy Griffith had on camera was inspiring. It certainly touched a lot of people’s hearts and helped foster good relationships between family members. But, now it is surfacing that Aunt Bee and Andy Griffith did not have a great relationship.

In the series, Frances Bavier played the loving aunt so well that people just assume she was an amazing person off-camera as well. However, according to the other cast members, she was nothing short of a ticking time bomb. Even though it may be hard to imagine, she was closed off from the cast and had a very high temper.

Andy Griffith Didn’t Get Along With Aunt Bee Taylor off Set

Ron Howard, who played Opie, in an interview, says that Aunt Bee kept to herself to maintain her professionalism. He also says that he thinks that she never felt comfortable around the set when Andy Griffith and the other cast members goofed off.

“But I don’t think she ever felt a part of what these boys were up to and their shenanigans,” Howard said.

Additionally, Aunt Bee was hard to deal with while she was working. Consequently, a friend of one of the directors of the show says he describes Bavier as volatile.

“I can only repeat what I was told, but on The Andy Griffith Show, Howard Morris, who played Ernest T. Bass on the show and directed episodes of it, said that directing Frances was like stepping on a landmine. If you would ask her to move three inches to the right to get in the proper frame, she’d blow a fuse and refuse.”

But, Andy Griffith has not spoken publicly about working with Bavier, undoubtedly out of respect to her. Nonetheless, in an interview in 1998 with Larry King Live, he says that Bavier spoke to him a few months before she passed away to apologize to him. Griffith says that she expressed how much she regretted how she acted during their many years working together.

So, it’s safe to say that even though their working relationship was strained, Griffith doesn’t hold any grudges. The two certainly made their strained relationship work as the show was incredibly successful. It just goes to show that even though Bavier was difficult to work with, to say the least, Andy Griffith rose above those challenges.

[H/T Classic Country Music]

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