Betty Lynn, who played Thelma Lou on ‘The Andy Griffith Show,’ dies at 95
Betty Lynn, the film and television actor who was best-known for her role as Barney Fife’s sweetheart, Thelma Lou, on “The Andy Griffith Show,” has died. She was 95.
Lynn died peacefully Saturday after a brief illness, the Andy Griffith Museum in Mount Airy, N.C., announced in a statement.
Lynn appeared as Thelma Lou on the show from 1961 until 1966. She reprised her role in the made-for-TV movie “Return to Mayberry,” in which Thelma Lou and Barney got married.
Born Elizabeth Ann Theresa Lynn on Aug. 29, 1926, in Kansas City, Mo., she began studying dance and acting at a young age. In 1944, she started performing as a part of USO Camp Shows.
Lynn took her talents overseas, performing in the USO for service members during World War II. She was “thought to be the only American woman to have traveled the dangerous Burma Road during the war,” according to the museum’s statement.
She moved to New York in the late 1940s and began acting in film and, later, television. Her career spanned decades, but fans came to know her best for her role on “The Andy Griffith Show.”
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In her later years, Lynn participated in reunions with fellow cast members and various Mayberry-themed festivals.
Lynn moved from Hollywood to Mount Airy in 2007 following a series of break-ins at her home. She expressed her love for the city to the Associated Press in 2015.
“I think God’s blessed me,” Lynn said at the time. “He brought me to a sweet town, wonderful people, and just said, ‘Now, that’s for you, Betty.’”
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Lynn had been working on an autobiography before her death, which is now expected to be released posthumously, the museum stated.
Lynn is survived by several cousins. A memorial service will take place in Culver City. Details are to be released at a later date.
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