Betty Lynn, best known for her role in “The Andy Griffith Show”, dead at 95

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Published: Oct. 17, 2021 at 1:58 PM EDT
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MOUNT AIRY, N.C. (WYMT) - According to a release by the Andy Griffith Museum, Betty Lynn, the actress best known for her portrayal of Barney Fife’s sweetheart Thelma Lou on The Andy Griffith Show, died peacefully on Saturday, October 16, at the age of 95.

Betty Lynn appeared in 26 episodes of the Andy Griffith Show with 25 appearances before the departure of Don Knotts, who played Barney Fife, led to her character departing the show as well. She would make one final guest appearance in the sixth season alongside Knotts.

Elizabeth Ann Theresa Lynn was born in Kansas City, Missouri, on August 29, 1926. Her mother, Elizabeth Lynn, a respected mezzo-soprano and organist, and her maternal grandparents Johanna and George Andrew Lynn, a longtime engineer for the Missouri Pacific Railroad, raised her.

Starting at age 18, she was part of a United Service Organization (USO) tour which took her through the China Burma India Theater during World War Two where, at one point, she met recently freed prisoners of war at a hospital in Rangoon.

Aside from her work on the Andy Griffith Show, she is also remembered for her role in a number of movies during the 1940s and 1950s including “Sitting Pretty” and the original “Cheaper by the Dozen” as well as Broadway shows such as “Oklahoma!” and “Park Avenue”.

Lynn remained active at Andy Griffith reunions and festivals, even virtually greeting fans who visited the Andy Griffith Museum, located in Mount Airy.

A private burial service is planned in Culver City, Calif. A memorial service will be announced at a later date.

In lieu of flowers, donations in Betty’s memory may be made to the Betty Lynn Scholarship Endowment (for students pursuing a career in dance or acting) or the Barbara and Emmett Forrest Endowment Fund (for the Andy Griffith Museum and Mayberry Days), both in care of Surry Arts Council, P.O. Box 141, Mount Airy, NC 27030; or Holy Angels Roman Catholic Church, 1208 N Main Street, Mount Airy NC 27030, or a charity of the donor’s choice.

WYMT interviewed Betty Lynn in 2018. You can watch by clicking this link.

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