A Mayberry State Of Mind
Thelma Lou / Betty Lynn
From the first episode Thelma Lou appeared in we have loved her. While we never learned of her last name or her occupation, we do know she has at least one brother, and she graduated from Mayberry Union High in 1948. In her spare time she sings and occasionally plays piano for the Mayberry Choir she has also been know to glue hymn books back together. She has a cousin Karen, who is the skeet shooting champion in Arkansas, and another cousin Mary Grace, who is nice… real nice!.
Thelma Lou is a self-sufficient and sweet-natured girl who Barney refers to as the cats! Thelma Lou first met Barney in 1960 at the funeral of Wilton Blair and the two began dating soon after. Thelma Lou and Barney enjoy an occasional double date with friends or just spending a quiet evening at home watching TV and snacking on Thelma Lou’s homemade cashew fudge or her favorite ice cream Swiss Indian Licorice Mocha Delight.
Thelma Lou wanted Barney to be the man she married and the father of her children, but unfortunately when Barney moved to Raleigh to join the police force, Thelma Lou left for Jacksonville, Florida. While there, she met and married Gerald Whitfield, who was the foreman of a wrecking crew. After her marriage ended with Gerald, she returned to Mayberry, some 20 years later, and reconnected with Barney. Thelma Lou and Barney finally got hitched in 1986 and are living their lives out happily in Mayberry.
For Betty Lynn, native of Kansas City, Mo., there was a life outside Mayberry. As an actress, dancer and singer, her career encompassed Broadway, the movies, radio and television. As a young teen she was performing on radio and by18, singing and dancing in a Kansas City nightclub. At 20, during World War II, she signed on for an eight-month stint with the USO, entertaining troops in Burma, China and India.
On contract with 20th Century Fox, Miss Lynn was lent out to several other studios, frequently performing with big-name stars. Film credits include "Father Was a Fullback," "Cheaper by the Dozen," "Sitting Pretty," "Behind the High Wall" and others. On TV, she appeared in "My Three Sons," "Wagon Train, "Matlock" and "Family Affair," to mention a few.
As for The Andy Griffith Show cast, off the set friendships were sparse for cast members who rarely socialized with one another after work. It seems Betty never wanted to impose on anyone simply because they worked together. Betty did have other stars such as Bette Davis, Jane Withers, Joan Leslie and Jeanne Crain in which she had long term friendships with, it is rumored she was even one of actress Ann Blythe's bridesmaids.