After Don Knotts left ''The Andy Griffith Show,'' Betty Lynn was offered another storyline — but she wouldn't take it
After Knotts left the show, Lynn decided it was time to leave Mayberry.
Some people have tried to make the argument that The Andy Griffith Show just wasn't the same after Don Knotts left his regular role in season five, but would it have perhaps softened the blow of Barney Fife's absence if Thelma Lou had stuck around? We may never know, but for a brief moment, it was a definite possibility.
According to an interview with the Associated Press, when Knotts left the show in 1966, it wasn't a guarantee that Thelma Lou would be written off the show as well. Betty Lynn, Thelma Lou's actress, revealed that she was actually offered an opportunity by the producers: They were willing to keep Lynn on the show and create a new storyline for her, complete with a hair salon.
However, it turns out that Lynn wasn't very interested, and decided that her time in Mayberry had come to an end. She reasoned, "I didn't think Thelma Lou made much sense" after Barney had left the town.
It turns out that Lynn's time on the show might have been cut even shorter, or so they say. Lynn revealed that earlier in the show, she had asked her agent to secure her a fifty-dollar raise. The producers were much less warm during this conversation and apparently told Lynn that they had the ability to replace her in response to the request.
Lynn said, "I told Don about it, and he said, 'They wouldn't have done that. They wouldn't have let you go.'" Still, Lynn didn't push the issue, for fear that the producers would actually make good on the threat.