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 89)
Kansas City, Missouri, USA
Other names Betty Ann Lynn
Occupation Actress
Years active 1940-present

Betty Lynn (born August 29, 1926) is an American actress. She is best 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 last surviving regular female cast members of that show.


Born Elizabeth Ann Theresa Lynn in Kansas City, Missouri,[1] Lynn 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]

Selected filmography[edit]

Year Film Role Notes
1948 Apartment for Peggy Wife Credited as Betty Ann Lynn
1949 Father Was a Fullback Constance "Connie" Cooper
1949 "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 1 episode
Lawman Edna Phillips 1 episode
Wagon Train Molly Richardson 1 episode
Bronco Molly Bailey 1 episode
1959 Tales of Wells Fargo Mary Francis 1 episode
Mickey Spillane's Mike Hammer Mona 1 episode
Sugarfoot Sarah Sears Episode "The Royal Raiders"
Sugarfoot Alice Fenton Episode "The Twister"
1960-1966 The Andy Griffith Show Thelma Lou 26 episodes
1960 National Velvet Barbara Howard 1 episode
1963 The Farmer's Daughter Sylvia 2 episodes
1965 The Smothers Brothers Show Vera 1 episode
1967–1970 My Three Sons Janet/Janice; Lois 7 episodes
1965 The Smothers Brothers Show Vera 1 episode
1966–1968 Family Affair Miss Lee 4 episodes
1969 The Mod Squad Mrs. Hill 1 episode
1974 Little House on the Prairie Bridget 1 episode
1978 Barnaby Jones Mrs. Russell 1 episode
1986 Matlock Sarah 5 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. 

External links[edit]