Betty Lynn, the actress who is best known for her role as Barney Fife’s sweetheart Thelma Lou on “The Andy Griffith Show,” is dead.
Lynn died at the age of 95 on Saturday October 16, after a brief illness. The Andy Griffith Museum in Mount Airy, North Carolina confirmed her death in as statement released on Monday October 18.
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 started performing as a part of USO Camp Shows.
She played the Thelma Lou character on The Andy Griffith Show” from 1961 until 1966. She reprised her role in the made-for-TV movie “Return to Mayberry,” in which Thelma Lou and Barney got married.
Lynn took her talents overseas, performing in the USO for servicemembers during World War II. She was “thought to be the only American woman to have traveled the dangerous Burma Road during the war,” according to the museum’s statement.
She moved to New York in the late 1940s and began acting in film, and later, television. Her career spanned decades, but fans came to know her best for her role in “The Andy Griffith Show.”
In her later years, Lynn participated in reunions with fellow cast members and various Mayberry-themed festivals.
The actress was working on an autobiography before her death and it will now be released posthumously, the museum stated. Lynn is survived by several cousins. A memorial service will take place in Culver City, California. Details are to be released at a later date.