Betty Lynn

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Betty Lynn
Actors Betty Lynn and Ian Oliver Martin in Mount Airy, North Carolina on April 18, 2011.jpg
Betty Lynn and Ian Oliver Martin in 2011
Born Elizabeth Ann Theresa Lynn
(1926-08-29) August 29, 1926 (age 90)
Kansas City, Missouri, U.S.
Other names Betty Ann Lynn
Occupation Actress
Years active 1940-2006

Elizabeth Ann Theresa "Betty" Lynn (born August 29, 1926) is a former American actress. She is known for having played Thelma Lou (Barney Fife's girlfriend) on The Andy Griffith Show. She, along with Elinor Donahue, is one of the two surviving regular female cast members of that show.


Lynn was born in Kansas City, Missouri,[1] and began acting in radio. She was later discovered in a Broadway production by Darryl F. Zanuck and signed to 20th Century Fox.[2] Lynn made her film debut in the 1948 film Sitting Pretty opposite Robert Young. That same year, she appeared in June Bride with Bette Davis followed by roles in Mother Is a Freshman (1949), Cheaper by the Dozen (1950), and Payment on Demand (1951).

In the 1953–1954 television season, Lynn was cast as June Wallace, the fictitious sister-in-law of the Ray Bolger character in the ABC sitcom Where's Raymond? Allyn Joslyn played her husband, Jonathan Wallace. Lynn and Joslyn left the series in its second season when it was renamed The Ray Bolger Show.[3]

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 on The 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 Show, Lynn continued appearing in various television and film roles. In 1986, she reprised the role of Thelma Lou in the reunion television movie Return to Mayberry in which Thelma Lou and Barney Fife were finally married. In 2006, Lynn retired from acting and relocated to Mount Airy, North Carolina, the hometown of Andy Griffith and the town on which Mayberry is believed to have been based despite Griffith's repeated denials.[2]

Betty Lynn has never married, although she has said she was once engaged.[4] She makes monthly appearances at the Andy Griffith Museum in Mount Airy to sign autographs and meet with her fans.


In 2007, Lynn was inducted into the Missouri Walk of Fame, located in Marshfield, Missouri, and is still "The Cats". [5]

On August 30, 2016 North Carolina Governor 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. [6]

Selected filmography[edit]

Year Title Role Notes
1948 Apartment for Peggy Wife Credited as Betty Ann Lynn
June Bride Babara Brinker
1949 Father Was a Fullback Constance "Connie" Cooper
Mother is a Freshmen Daughter
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 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


  1. ^ 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. 
  2. ^ a b Breed, Allen G. (2007-09-28). "'Thelma Lou' moves to Mount Airy after L.A. break-ins". Retrieved 2009-05-10. 
  3. ^ "Where's Raymond?/ The Ray Bolger Show". Retrieved March 14, 2011. 
  4. ^ "Actress Who Played Thelma Lou Reminisces About Andy Griffith". Huffington Post. August 29, 2013. 
  5. ^ "Marshfield, Missouri Cherry Blossom Fest". Retrieved 2009-05-10. 
  6. ^ "Lt. Gov. Honors Lynn". Mount Airy News. 

External links[edit]