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Betty Lynn (1926–2021), “The Andy Griffith Show” actress

by Linnea Crowther

Betty Lynn was an actress best known for playing Thelma Lou, Barney Fife’s girlfriend, on “The Andy Griffith Show.”

Acting career

Lynn began her career as a performer by touring with the USO during World War II. Back in the states after the war, she appeared on Broadway and signed a movie contract with 20th Century Fox. She appeared in several movies in the 1940s and ‘50s, including “June Bride” and “Cheaper by the Dozen.” In 1960, Lynn landed a regular TV role on “Texas John Slaughter” before being cast as Thelma Lou on “The Andy Griffith Show.” She continued to appear on “Andy Griffith” in a recurring role for six seasons. In the 1986 TV movie “Return to Mayberry,” Betty Lou and Barney were married. Lynn had other recurring roles on “My Three Sons,” “Family Affair,” and “Matlock.”

Lynn on the enduring love for “The Andy Griffith Show”

“The other day, a man came to me crying so hard, he couldn’t straighten up. It’s just a show, for gosh sakes, but it touches their hearts. I’m amazed at how deeply they feel about the show.” –from a 2016 interview for Cleveland.com

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Tributes to Betty Lynn

Full obituary: The News & Observer

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