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Sun Oct 17, 2021, 07:41 PM

Betty Lynn, Barney's Girlfriend Thelma Lou on 'The Andy Griffith Show,' Dies at 95

Last edited Mon Oct 18, 2021, 05:30 AM - Edit history (1)

Source: Hollywood Reporter

The onetime contract player at Fox appeared in films opposite Bette Davis, Maureen O'Hara and Clifton Webb early in her career.

BY MIKE BARNES

Betty Lynn, the actress who portrayed Thelma Lou, the wholesome girlfriend of Don Knotts’ Barney Fife, on The Andy Griffith Show, has died. She was 95.

Lynn died Saturday after a short illness in Mount Airy, North Carolina, where she lived in a retirement home. She had moved to the birthplace of Andy Griffith — now home to the Andy Griffith Museum, where she regularly signed autographs and delighted fans — in 2006. The museum announced her death.

Before her most famous role, the red-haired Lynn appeared in such films as June Bride (1948) and Cheaper by the Dozen (1950) as a contract player at 20th Century Fox. Lynn was starring as the wife of Tom Tryon’s title character on Texas John Slaughter, part of ABC’s The Wonderful World of Disney, when she auditioned to play the girlfriend of the neurotic deputy.

She joined the comedy near the end of its first season in 1961 and went on to appear on 26 episodes, getting $500 per show (she never had a contract). When Knotts exited the sitcom to focus on his movie career — Barney was written out, having left Mayberry to join the police department in Raleigh, North Carolina — Lynn departed, too.



Betty Lynn in the 1951 film 'Take Care of My Little Girl' TWENTIETH CENTURY FOX/PHOTOFEST

Read more: https://www.hollywoodreporter.com/tv/tv-news/betty-lynn-dead-andy-griffith-show-1235032777/



Also see: https://omaha.com/entertainment/betty-lynn-who-played-thelma-lou-on-andy-griffith-show-dies-at-95/article_aa8e4656-4d83-5239-ae76-e16475f52c1c.html

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Reply Betty Lynn, Barney's Girlfriend Thelma Lou on 'The Andy Griffith Show,' Dies at 95 (Original post)
Omaha Steve Oct 17 OP
Rastapopoulos Oct 17 #1
fantase56 Oct 17 #2
marble falls Oct 17 #3
usaf-vet Oct 18 #18
Tommymac Oct 17 #4
KY_EnviroGuy Oct 17 #5
MustLoveBeagles Oct 17 #6
LiberalFighter Oct 17 #7
toughtony Oct 17 #8
Sneederbunk Oct 17 #9
dem4decades Oct 17 #10
yonder Oct 17 #11
oswaldactedalone Oct 17 #12
turbinetree Oct 17 #13
Rhiannon12866 Oct 17 #14
Bayard Oct 17 #15
C Moon Oct 18 #16
argyl Oct 18 #17
C Moon Oct 18 #19
ProfessorGAC Oct 18 #22
BumRushDaShow Oct 18 #20
louis-t Oct 18 #21
MurrayDelph Oct 18 #23

Response to Omaha Steve (Original post)

Sun Oct 17, 2021, 07:43 PM

1. Aw, shoot

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Response to Omaha Steve (Original post)

Sun Oct 17, 2021, 07:45 PM

2. ahhh, Thelma Lou......

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Response to Omaha Steve (Original post)

Sun Oct 17, 2021, 08:01 PM

3. I read her bio on wiki. This was an extremely accomplished public minded person who earned ...

... a pile of awards for work in WWII, she toured small camps close to the line and entertained in hospitals, and was the only woman known to travel the Burma Road untill the end of the war. She traveled in a single Jeep with only two or three other people.

I thought of her a "light comedy" actress. That really short credited her, she could sing and dance and was in live early TV drama shows, did some big pictures and did Broadway and 'legit' theater.

Really a genuine good good person with a lot of talent and skills.

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Response to marble falls (Reply #3)

Mon Oct 18, 2021, 07:28 AM

18. Part of the Greatest Generation!

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Response to Omaha Steve (Original post)

Sun Oct 17, 2021, 08:15 PM

4. Godspeed Betty

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Response to Omaha Steve (Original post)

Sun Oct 17, 2021, 08:15 PM

5. RIP, Betty Lynn. She was also a WW2 USO heroine.

From: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Betty_Lynn

Snip1....
USO tour

When she was 17, Lynn auditioned to participate in United Service Organizations entertainment. At age 18 she was part of a USO tour in the China Burma India Theater. She realized the gravity of the situation when a Marine gave her a pistol saying, "You might need this."

Her activities on the tour included visiting patients in hospitals and singing requests from a repertoire of 725 songs. She also met recently released prisoners of war from Rangoon, and she was told by a doctor, "Most of them will be out of their minds in six months."

Back in the day, I would have seen The Andy Griffith Show only in black and white, so I would not have known she was a red head.

Snip2.....
On Broadway, she appeared in Walk with Music (1940), Oklahoma! (1943), and Park Avenue (1946). She was discovered in a Broadway production by Darryl F. Zanuck and signed to 20th Century Fox. A clause in her contract allowed the studio to drop her at six-month intervals, leading to recurring concerns for Lynn. She said, "I was a redhead with freckles and didn’t have a bosom. I prayed so hard they’d keep picking me up."


KY.........

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Response to Omaha Steve (Original post)

Sun Oct 17, 2021, 08:25 PM

6. RIP

She was a beautiful person both inside and out.

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Response to Omaha Steve (Original post)

Sun Oct 17, 2021, 08:40 PM

7. What a shame.

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Response to Omaha Steve (Original post)

Sun Oct 17, 2021, 08:49 PM

8. Barney!

They should bury her with barney's tweed suit and hat.

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Response to Omaha Steve (Original post)

Sun Oct 17, 2021, 09:32 PM

9. Only Opie survives.

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Response to Omaha Steve (Original post)

Sun Oct 17, 2021, 09:35 PM

10. I believe she was just on CBS Sunday Morning when they did a show about Mt Airy.

People loved to see her and I didn't know about her WWII service, what a brave woman.

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Response to Omaha Steve (Original post)

Sun Oct 17, 2021, 09:36 PM

11. Had no idea of her background. RIP Betty Lynn.

If we watch any TV show at all, it's as likely to be The Andy Griffith Show as anything else.

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Response to Omaha Steve (Original post)

Sun Oct 17, 2021, 09:58 PM

12. Noooo!



RIP Thelma Lu.

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Response to Omaha Steve (Original post)

Sun Oct 17, 2021, 10:01 PM

13. This is sad.......

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Response to Omaha Steve (Original post)

Sun Oct 17, 2021, 10:03 PM

14. Oh no! That just leaves Opie.

I was particularly interested in Thelma Lou since she was born in the same week as my mother. *sigh*


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Response to Omaha Steve (Original post)

Sun Oct 17, 2021, 10:39 PM

15. Awww.....

We watch, "Andy", most mornings over breakfast.

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Response to Omaha Steve (Original post)

Mon Oct 18, 2021, 01:04 AM

16. I've always thought she was the prettiest girl on that show. RIP.

I love the skit when Barney and Thelma are in Andy's house, and Andy is outside with his girl, playing guitar. Andy calls to Barney to come outside and sing harmony on a song. No answer. He keeps calling. Eventually Barney comes out, and he has lipstick all over his face.

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Response to C Moon (Reply #16)

Mon Oct 18, 2021, 05:43 AM

17. I thought she was also. Much prettier than Aneta Corsaut.

She played Andy's girlfriend Helen Crump. That name certainly didn't add to her appeal.

I recall that Elinor Donahue had a role as the druggist in Mayberry and there was the suggestion of an attraction between her and Andy but I don't recall them even going out on a date. She's awfully pretty but she was only on for the first season, before Thelma Lou made her appearance.

I was preteen when she first showed up as Barney's girl but even then I thought that a girl as pretty as Thelma Lou was way out of ol' Barn's league.

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Response to argyl (Reply #17)

Mon Oct 18, 2021, 09:01 AM

19. I saw her as the druggist a couple days ago.

She looked like she was a teenager. It was the one when Andy assumes she is going to the dance with her and she gets upset. Early episode when Andy was more like Barney.

Agreed. Thelma as Barney’s gf seemed a bit of a reach.

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Response to argyl (Reply #17)

Mon Oct 18, 2021, 04:03 PM

22. Andy & Ellie Definitely Dated

In fact, in one episode, envy gets Andy to declare their mutual loyalty that it comes off as a proposal.
There are at least a half dozen episodes where their relationship is obvious.
Yeah, I'm a trivia freak about the show.
I even know both of Andy's address, even though they never moved!
I know, I know.

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Response to Omaha Steve (Original post)

Mon Oct 18, 2021, 10:02 AM

20. Wow. R.I.P.

I didn't realize anyone was left outside of Ron Howard.

Am glad she found a strong following after her appearances and kept active. So often you had recurring characters like hers who gave the show an added bonus for tuning in.

Condolences to her family and thank you for your USO work and contribution to the entertainment world.

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Response to Omaha Steve (Original post)

Mon Oct 18, 2021, 10:02 AM

21. Hard to believe she only made $13,000 total

for her role as Thelma Lou.

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Response to Omaha Steve (Original post)

Mon Oct 18, 2021, 07:03 PM

23. I met her once

One of my oldest friends grew up next-door to her.

Very nice lady.

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