Betty Lynn, the redheaded Thelma Lou from ‘The Andy Griffith Show,’ has died at the age of 95
Betty Lynn, well known for her role as the redheaded, freckle-faced Thelma Lou on “The Andy Griffith Show,” has died. She was 95 years old.
Lynn’s death was revealed on the Andy Griffith Museum’s website, where it was stated that she died peacefully on Saturday as a result of an undisclosed but brief illness. A private burial service in Culver City, California, is planned, and a memorial service will be announced later.
“It has been my tremendous honor and joy to work and joy to work with Betty and to be her friend for many years,” longtime friend and colleague Tanya Jones, an executive director of Surry Arts Council, said in a statement to USA TODAY. “It was clear from our first encounter that faith, family, and friends and — very importantly — her fans are the things that meant the most to her. Betty brought so much joy and love to so many people.”
From 1961 until 1966, she featured in 26 episodes of “The Andy Griffith Show.” On the show, Lynn portrayed Barney Fife’s loving sweetheart.
According to her obituary, Lynn stated, “I had seen the ‘Griffith’ show twice before going to read for the part.” “I remember that I laughed out loud — it was so funny. I didn’t do that very often. I thought, ‘Gee, this is really unusual.’
During the sixth season of “The Andy Griffith Show,” she made one farewell appearance.
Lynn reprised her role as Thelma Lou in “Return to Mayberry,” the made-for-TV movie that debuted on NBC in 1986, more than 20 years after “The Andy Griffith Show.” “Everything fell right into place once we arrived there to film the movie,” Lynn added. “There was still a spark.”
Lynn, on the other hand, began her career in Hollywood and show business at a very young age.
Lynn began learning dancing at the age of five, and by the age of fourteen, she was acting and singing in supper clubs, as well as performing and doing commercial spots for local radio shows. She also had a successful Broadway career and was noticed in one of several plays by Daryl F. Zanuck.
Lynn featured in a number of films during the 1940s and 1950s, including “Sitting Pretty,” “June Bride,” the original “Cheaper by the Dozen,” and “Meet Me In Las Vegas.”
“Betty’s performances onscreen and the memories of her by those who were fortunate to meet her and know her will enable those feelings to continue,” Tanya Jones remarked.
Elizabeth Ann Theresa Lynn was born on August 29, 1926, in Kansas City, Missouri. Her mother, Elizabeth Lynn, a mezzo-soprano and organist, and maternal grandparents Johanna and George Andrew Lynn, a lifelong engineer for the Missouri Pacific Railroad, raised her.
Lynn, along with other cast and crew members from “The Andy Griffith Show,” received the TV Land Legend Award in 2004. Lynn was the first person to be honoured with a star on the Andy Griffith Museum’s entrance walkway in 2012.
Lynn was finishing up modifications to her autobiography at the time of her death.
Lynn was described as “a dear and loving friend to all who knew her.” by a friend and fellow actor from the programme, Elinor Donahue.
“Her talent will continue to bring joy to fans with ‘The Andy Griffith Show.'”