Betty Lynn and Thelma Lou in “The Andy Griffith Show” are deceased
MOUNT AIRY, NC (AP) – Betty Lynn, the film and television actress who was best known for her role as Barney Fife’s sweetheart Thelma Lou on “The Andy Griffith Show”, has passed away. She was 95 years old.
Lynn passed away peacefully on Saturday after a brief illness, the Andy Griffith Museum in Mount Airy, North Carolina, said in a statement.
Lynn appeared as Thelma Lou in the series from 1961 to 1966. She reprized her role in the TV movie “Return to Mayberry”, in which Thelma Lou and Barney were married.
Born Elizabeth Ann Theresa Lynn on August 29, 1926 in Kansas City, Missouri, Lynn began studying dance and acting at a young age. In 1944, she began performing at the USO Camp Shows.
Lynn took his talents overseas, performing in the USO for the military during WWII. She was “considered the only American woman to have traveled the dangerous road to Burma during the war,” according to the museum’s statement.
She moved to New York in the late 1940s and started acting in movies, then on television. Her career spanned decades, but fans have known her best for her role on “The Andy Griffith Show”.
In her later years, Lynn attended reunions with other cast members and various Mayberry-themed festivals.
Director and actor Ron Howard, who played Sheriff Andy Taylor’s son Opie, paid tribute to Lynn in a Tweeter Sunday, saying she “lit up every scene she was in and every day of filming she was on set.”
Lynn moved from Hollywood to Mount Airy in 2007 following a series of house burglaries. She expressed her love for the city to The Associated Press in 2015.
“I think God blessed me,” Lynn said at the time. “He took me to a lovely town, wonderful people, and he just said, ‘Now it’s for you Betty.'”
Lynn was working on an autobiography before his death, which is now expected to be published posthumously, the museum said.
Lynn is survived by several cousins. A memorial service will be held in Culver City, California. Details will be released at a later date.
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