Betty Lynn

I was under contract with Walt Disney at the time. I was co-starring in my second season of a show called, Texas John Slaughter. The Andy Griffith Show hired me to play Thelma Lou. I only worked when they called me. I would do an episode in two days and I got paid $500. After all the federal, state and local taxes were taken out and then my agent’s commission I only got $200 some dollars per episode.

Twenty years after the Andy Griffith Show when Andy did Matlock, he hired me for four episodes. I told him I wanted to develop an Aunt Bea type role for Matlock, but he was against it. I did appear on other popular TV shows, like Family Affair, My Three Sons, Barnaby Jones and Little House on the Prairie.

We didn’t have reruns back then, so when the show ended we thought it was over. I’m overwhelmed by how long the show has been popular and by how many people still love it today. I still watch the reruns and just laugh! Here in Mount Airy they show the Andy Griffith Show at 3:30 in the afternoons and they call it “Andy After School”, but the show wasn’t just for kids, it was for everyone.

They were all wonderful [on Andy Griffith Show], but I enjoyed Andy and Don and Ron the most. Ron played little Opie so well. He really took acting seriously and worked hard to deliver his lines well. Andy was always fun and liked to tease. Don was nothing like Barney. Don was very quiet, which shows what a good actor he was.

Once when I was cooking I burned my arm with scalding water. I went to the Emergency Room of the Hospital. When the doctor came in he looked at me and looked at my chart, and looked at me and looked at my chart, then looked at me again and said, “I loved your show!” He told me that when he was doing his internship he would come home every night stressed out, but he would watch a late night rerun of the Andy Griffith Show and relax and fall asleep. He said, “I wouldn’t be a doctor, if it wasn’t for the Andy Griffith Show”.

On the third Friday of each month, I go to the Andy Griffith Museum. I get to meet hundreds of fans who stand in long lines for hours to meet me. Some months I don’t feel too good and I think maybe I won’t go, but then when I go and get to be there with so many wonderful people it always lifts my spirits and makes me feel better. I wouldn’t stand in line for hours to meet me, but I’m so glad my fans do.