Fans of The Andy Griffith Show have fond memories of Mayberry, and many viewers especially loved watching the sweet courtship of Barney Fife (played by Don Knotts) and Thelma Lou (played by Betty Lynn).
Don Knots (Barney Fife) & Betty Lynn (Thelma Lou) ♥ pic.twitter.com/TVXZQs9iir
— spacewoman reporter (@SpacewomanR) February 15, 2020
Betty Lynn didn’t get her acting start on-screen — rather, she auditioned to serve her country by taking part in USO shows. After showing off her singing pipes to released POWs, Lynn spent some time on Broadway.
— Silver Age Television 📺 (@SilverAgeTV) August 29, 2020
After showing her talents on stage, Lynn began to star in films, and eventually, landed a role as the object of Barney Fife’s affection on The Andy Griffith Show.
Lynn said that the show had never planned to give Fife a girlfriend, but their love story began to take on a life of its own. Lynn didn’t have a contract with the show and was brought back from time to time, appearing in a total of 26 episodes. Barney and Thelma Lou were finally married in the 1986 movie, Return to Mayberry. Throughout her time as Thelma, and her other acting projects Lynn was steadfastly focused on her career and never married.
BOTD in 1926 in Missouri, the lovely Betty Lynn. Best remembered (and loved) as Barney Fife’s “girl,” Thelma Lou. She was also wonderful in Father Was a Fullback (1949) and many tv appearances, including Matlock, Mod Squad, and Little House on the Prairie. Happy 94th birthday! 🎂 pic.twitter.com/sNNrBxZMxx
— ✨ Hollywood Yesterday ✨ (@HollywoodYeste1) August 29, 2020
Today, Lynn is enjoying her golden years at an assisted-living facility in North Carolina, where she often makes appearances at The Andy Griffith Museum for meet and greets with fans of the beloved show.
Check out this adorable fan-made tribute to Barney and Thelma Lou below.