Betty Lynn, the actress and TV actor best known for her role in “The Andy Griffith Show” as Thelma Lou, Barney Fife’s sweetheart, has passed away. She was 95.
After a short illness, Lynn passed away peacefully on Saturday, the Andy Griffith Museum in Mount Airy (North Carolina) announced in a statement.
From 1961 to 1966, Lynn portrayed Thelma Lou. She reprised her role as Thelma Lou in “Return to Mayberry”, a movie made for TV in which Thelma Lou married Barney.
Lynn was born Elizabeth Ann Theresa Lynn in Kansas City, Missouri on August 29, 1926. She began dancing and acting as a child. She began performing in 1944 as part of the USO Camp Shows.
Lynn used her talents abroad to perform in the USO for military personnel during World War II. According to the museum, she was “thought” to be the only American woman who traveled the dangerous Burma Road in wartime.
In the late 1940s, she moved to New York and started acting on film and television. Although her career spans decades, her most famous role was in “The Andy Griffith Show.”
Lynn enjoyed reunions with cast members in her later years and other Mayberry-themed events.
Ron Howard, the actor and director who played Sheriff Andy Taylor’s son Opie, tweeted Sunday in tribute to Lynn, saying that she “brightened each scene she was in & on every shooting day she spent on set.”
After a string of burglaries at her house, Lynn moved to Mount Airy from Hollywood in 2007. In 2015, she expressed her love of the city to The Associated Press.
“I believe God’s blessed” Lynn stated at that time. He brought me to a sweet place, with wonderful people, and said, “Now that’s for Betty.”
Lynn was working on an autobiography prior to her death. The museum said that it is now likely that the book will be published posthumously.
Lynn was survived by many cousins. A memorial service will be held in Culver, California. More details will be available at a later time.