The Daily Mail reports that Betty Lynn, an actress best known for her portrayal of Thelma Lou on The Andy Griffith Show, has died at the age of 95.
The Andy Griffith Museum announced Lynn’s passing in a statement.
“Betty Lynn, the actress best known for her portrayal of Thelma Lou, Barney Fife’s sweetheart on The Andy Griffith Show, died peacefully on Saturday, October 16, 2021, after a brief illness. She was 95,” the statement read in part. No further information was provided about her apparent illness.
She reportedly died at a retirement home in Mount Airy, North Carolina, which is the birthplace of Andy Griffith and the location of the Andy Griffith Museum. She had been living there since 2006.
Lynn enjoyed a long career that included Broadway, television, and movie appearances. Among other films, she appeared in June Bride in 1948 and 1950’s Cheaper by the Dozen, according to the Daily Mail.
But Lynn is most well-known for her role as Thelma Lou on The Andy Griffith Show. In that role, she was the girlfriend of Barney Fife, the character played by the late Don Knotts.
Between 1961 and 1966, Lynn appeared in 26 episodes of the program before being written out when Fife left the show.
In 1986, however, Lynn returned for a film that grew out of The Andy Griffith Show called Return to Mayberry. In that film, Lynn again played Lou, who this time was Fife’s wife. Later in 1986, Lynn was part of Griffith’s series Matlock.
Leaving a legacy
Given her connection to Griffith, it was only fitting that Lynn retired to Griffith’s birthplace in 2006. There, according to The Hollywood Reporter, Lynn “regularly signed autographs and delighted fans,” often working with the Andy Griffith Museum.
In its statement, the museum said that it “is grateful for Betty’s many appearances at the museum and Mayberry Days.” The organization also encouraged people to visit its photo galleries “for many good memories of those visits over the years.”
A private burial service for Lynn is expected to take place in Culver City, California, reports said.
A date for a memorial service has not yet been announced.