The Info List - Betty Lynn

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Elizabeth Ann Theresa "Betty" Lynn[1] (born August 29, 1926) is a former American actress. She is best known for her role as Thelma Lou, Deputy Barney Fife's girlfriend, on The Andy Griffith
Andy Griffith
Show. She is the last surviving multi-season regular adult cast member from that series.


1 Early life 2 USO tour 3 Acting career 4 Personal life 5 Honors 6 Filmography 7 References 8 External links

Early life[edit] Betty Lynn
Betty Lynn
was born in Kansas City, Missouri,[2] Her mother, Elizabeth Ann Lynn,[3] was "an accomplished mezzo-soprano" who taught Betty to sing and started her in the Kansas City Conservatory of Music when she was 5 years old.[4] Lynn had little personal contact with her father, who once threatened to shoot her mother in the abdomen when she was pregnant with Lynn. After Lynn's birth, her mother once took shelter in a locked closet with the baby as her husband threatened the two. They divorced when Lynn was 5 years old. Lynn's grandfather, George Andrew Lynn, a railroad engineer, took on the role of father as she grew up.[4] USO tour[edit] When she was 17, Lynn auditioned to participate in United Service Organizations entertainment. At 18 she was part of a USO tour in the China Burma India Theater. She realized the gravity of the situation when a Marine gave her a pistol saying, "You might need this."[4] Her activities on the tour included visiting patients in hospitals and singing requests from a repertoire of 725 songs. She also met recently released prisoners of war from Rangoon, and she was told by a doctor, "Most of them will be out of their minds in six months."[4] Acting career[edit] Betty Lynn
Betty Lynn
began her acting career in radio as a member of the cast on a daytime drama on a station in Kansas City.[5] On Broadway, she acted in Walk with Music (1940) and Oklahoma! (1943).[6] She was discovered in a Broadway production by Darryl F. Zanuck
Darryl F. Zanuck
and signed to 20th Century Fox.[7] A clause in her contract allowed the studio to drop her at six-month intervals, leading to recurring concerns for Lynn. She said, "I was a redhead with freckles and didn’t have a bosom. I prayed so hard they’d keep picking me up."[4] Lynn made her film debut in the 1948 film Sitting Pretty opposite Robert Young. That same year, she appeared in June Bride
June Bride
with Bette Davis followed by roles in Mother Is a Freshman
Mother Is a Freshman
(1949), Cheaper by the Dozen (1950), and Payment on Demand
Payment on Demand
(1951).[8] Lynn replaced Patricia Kirkland in the role of Betty Blake in the CBS comedy, The Egg and I (1951-1952),[9] and she played Pearl in the ABC comedy Love That Jill (1958).[9]:631 She was Viola Slaughter in the ABC Western Texas John Slaughter (1958-1962).[9]:1064 In the 1953–1954 television season, Lynn was cast as June Wallace,[9]:1171 the sister-in-law of the Ray Bolger
Ray Bolger
character in the ABC sitcom Where's Raymond? Allyn Joslyn
Allyn Joslyn
played her husband, Jonathan Wallace. Lynn and Joslyn left the series in its second season when it was renamed The Ray Bolger
Ray Bolger
Show.[10][8] After guest-starring on various television series, including Schlitz Playhouse of Stars, The Gale Storm Show, Sugarfoot, and Markham, Lynn won the role of Thelma Lou
Thelma Lou
on The Andy Griffith
Andy Griffith
Show. She portrayed the role regularly from 1961 until 1965, then made a final guest appearance in one episode during the sixth season (1965–1966). Following the end of The Andy Griffith
Andy Griffith
Show, Lynn continued appearing in various television and film roles.[8] In 1986, she reprised the role of Thelma Lou
Thelma Lou
in the reunion television movie Return to Mayberry in which Thelma Lou
Thelma Lou
and Barney Fife
Barney Fife
were finally married. In 2006, Lynn retired from acting and relocated to Mount Airy, North Carolina, the hometown of Andy Griffith
Andy Griffith
and the town on which Mayberry is believed to have been based despite Griffith's repeated denials.[7] Personal life[edit] In 1950, Lynn bought a house in Los Angeles, with her mother and grandparents moving in. She thus took on the off-screen roles of breadwinner and caretaker.[4]

Betty Lynn

Giovanna Rayburn left and Randy Rayburn Right with Betty Lynn
Betty Lynn
"Thelma Lou" Mount Airey NC

Betty Lynn
Betty Lynn
has never married, although she has said she was once engaged.[11] She makes monthly appearances at the Andy Griffith
Andy Griffith
Museum in Mount Airy to sign autographs and meet with her fans.[12] Honors[edit] In 2007, Lynn was inducted into the Missouri Walk of Fame, located in Marshfield, Missouri, and is still "The Cats". [13] On August 30, 2016, then-North Carolina Governor Pat McCrory
Pat McCrory
granted and North Carolina Lieutenant Governor Dan Forest presented Lynn with the Order of the Long Leaf Pine, the highest civilian honor in North Carolina. [14] Filmography[edit] 1951 Payment on Demand
Payment on Demand
(1951) Martha Ramsey


Year Title Role Notes

1948 Apartment for Peggy Wife Credited as Betty Ann Lynn

Sitting Pretty Ginger Credited as Betty Ann Lynn

June Bride Babara Brinker

1949 Father Was a Fullback Constance "Connie" Cooper

1950 Cheaper by the Dozen Deborah Lancaster

1951 Take Care of My Little Girl Marge Colby

1956 Meet Me in Las Vegas Young Bride Alternative title: Viva Las Vegas!

1959 Louisiana Hussy Lili Guillot


Year Title Role Notes

1958 M Squad Susan Baines Episode: "The Trap"

1958 Lawman Edna Phillips Episode: "The Oath"

1958 Wagon Train Molly Richardson Episode: "The Dick Richardson Story"

1958 Bronco Molly Bailey Episode: "Baron of Broken Lace"

1959 Tales of Wells Fargo Mary Francis Episode: "The Bounty Hunter"

1959 Mickey Spillane's Mike Hammer Mona Episode: "Pen Pals"

1959 Sugarfoot Sarah Sears Episode "The Royal Raiders"

1959 Sugarfoot Alice Fenton Episode "The Twister"

1960-1966 The Andy Griffith
Andy Griffith
Show Thelma Lou 26 episodes

1960 National Velvet Barbara Howard Episode: "Mi's Girl"

1963 The Farmer's Daughter Sylvia Episode: "The Speechmaker: Part 2"

1965 The Smothers Brothers Show Vera Episode: "Here Comes the Bridegroom"

1967–1970 My Three Sons Janet/Janice; Lois 7 episodes

1966–1968 Family Affair Miss Lee 4 episodes

1969 The Mod Squad Mrs. Hill Episode: "The Healer"

1974 Little House on the Prairie Bridget Episode: "If I Should Wake Before I Die"

1978 Barnaby Jones Mrs. Russell Episode: "Blind Jeopardy"

1986 Matlock Sarah 4 episodes


^ Oby, Jenny (2017). Lakewood Theatre. Arcadia Publishing. p. 103. ISBN 9781467125949. Retrieved 24 October 2017.  ^ Robinson, Dale; Fernandes, David (1996). The Definitive Andy Griffith Show Reference: Episode-by-Episode, With Cast and Production Biographies and a Guide to Collectibles. McFarland. p. 267. ISBN 0-7864-0136-2.  ^ Collura, Joe (September 2017). "Betty Lynn: Barney's Thelma Lou". Classic Images (507): 68–71.  ^ a b c d e f Washburn, Mark (August 28, 2016). "The secret life of Mayberry's Thelma Lou". Miami Herald. Archived from the original on 24 October 2017. Retrieved 25 October 2017.  ^ " Betty Lynn
Betty Lynn
Started Acting At Early Age". Biddeford-Saco Journal. Maine, Biddeford. April 14, 1952. p. 12. Retrieved October 25, 2017 – via Newspapers.com.  ^ "Betty Lynn". Playbill Vault. Playbill. Archived from the original on 25 October 2017. Retrieved 25 October 2017.  ^ a b Breed, Allen G. (2007-09-28). "'Thelma Lou' moves to Mount Airy after L.A. break-ins". news-record.com. Archived from the original on 2012-02-13. Retrieved 2009-05-10.  ^ a b c Betty Lynn
Betty Lynn
on IMDb ^ a b c d Terrace, Vincent (2011). Encyclopedia of Television Shows, 1925 through 2010 (2nd ed.). Jefferson, N.C.: McFarland & Company, Inc., Publishers. p. 300. ISBN 978-0-7864-6477-7.  ^ "Where's Raymond?/The Ray Bolger
Ray Bolger
Show". ctva.biz. Retrieved March 14, 2011.  ^ " Actress
Who Played Thelma Lou
Thelma Lou
Reminisces About Andy Griffith". Huffington Post. August 29, 2013.  ^ "Meet Thelma Lou". Andy Griffith
Andy Griffith
Museum. September 13, 2017.  ^ " Marshfield, Missouri
Marshfield, Missouri
Cherry Blossom Fest". cherryblossomfest.com. Retrieved 2009-05-10.  ^ "Lt. Gov. Honors Lynn". Mount Airy News. Retrieved February 27, 2017. 

External links[edit]

Betty Lynn
Betty Lynn
on IMDb Betty Lynn
Betty Lynn
at the Internet Broadway Database
Internet Broadway Database
Betty Lynn
Betty Lynn
helping to donate Andy Griffith
Andy Griffith
show articles to Andy Griffith Museum in Mount Airy, NC Intervie