Betty Lynn, Who Played Thelma Lou on ‘The Andy Griffith Show,’ Dies
The actress who played Thelma Lou on The Andy Griffith Show has died. Betty Lynn was Barney Fife's (Don Knotts) love interest for a half-decade on the popular television program.
Later, in a made-for-TV movie called Return to Mayberry (1986), the on-screen couple would marry.
However, fans mostly just knew Thelma Lou as Fife's sweetheart, and it's that legacy she'd live on after she retired from acting. By the time she joined the show she was a veteran stage and screen player with a diverse resume; a 1959 film called Louisiana Hussy stands apart from the wholesome fare she'd soon be attached to. In the years after The Andy Griffith Show ended production, she'd pick up notable roles in network programs like My Three Sons, Family Affair and Matlock, the latter being an on-stage reunion with Andy Griffith, who played the show's title character.
Ron Howard, one of the show's few surviving cast members, remembered Lynn upon her death at age 95. He played Opie Taylor.
Lynn "brightened every scene she was in & every shooting day she was on set," he writes, adding she did the same decades later when they came across each other one final time.
As Thelma Lou, Lynn was in just 26 episodes of The Andy Griffith Show. Here she is opposite Aneta Corsaut (Helen Crump) trying to convince a woman to go on a date with Gomer Pyle.
Fox News points out that the Andy Griffith Museum in Mount Airy, N.C., announced Lynn's death, saying she passed after a short illness. Lynn moved to Mount Airy in 2007 and was a regular at reunions. She is survived by several cousins. A private burial is planned, to take place in Culver City, Calif.