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.

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11 Comments

CoreyC 5 months ago
It is rare cases where cast members choose to leave when a series star leaves. The most recent case is some of the cast of Spin City when Michael J Fox was to sick to continue cause of Parkinson's. Good for Betty Lynn she did work on My Three Sons as Fred MacMurray's secretary.
RedSamRackham CoreyC 5 months ago
* I remember her as Uncle Bill's secretary on Family Affair.
CoreyC RedSamRackham 5 months ago
Both My Three Sons and Family Affair was produced by Don Fedderson.
Runeshaper 5 months ago
Based on what's written here, I think Betty made the right choice (-:
LoveMETV22 5 months ago
Betty Lynn made a good choice. After Don Knotts left, it seems like the series lost some of its magic.
MrsPhilHarris LoveMETV22 5 months ago
Oh for sure. The charm was gone.
CoreyC LoveMETV22 5 months ago
A lot of magic cause TAGS lost it's funnyman.
ValpoPJ LoveMETV22 2 months ago
For sure. I couldn't stand the Warren character. No Barney, no magic.
FrankensteinLover 5 months ago
Thel was the Cats and Barney aka Bernie was a Comic Genius.
FrankensteinLover 7 days ago
This comment has been removed.
Big3Fan 5 months ago
What a sweetheart. Faithful to the end.
Irish 5 months ago
I loved the Thelma Lou/Barney story line. They made the perfect couple!
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