Betty Lynn hid her secret crush on Andy Griffith so she wouldn't ''hurt anyone's feelings''
Andy once wrote to Betty Lynn, ''You were Don's girl, but you should’ve been mine.''
Read to Me
In an unexpected episode of The Andy Griffith Show called "Cyrano Andy," we watch Andy pay a visit to Barney's girlfriend Thelma Lou and declare, "Thelma Lou, I want you for my own."
Everyone in the audience watching was in on the joke, knowing that Andy's plan was to declare his love so that Thelma Lou would realize her true feelings for Barney.
However, according to Thelma Lou actor Betty Lynn, this love triangle actually did play out in a subdued way behind the scenes of the show — just the opposite of the way you might expect!
Instead of crushing on her onscreen love Don Knotts, Lynn found herself falling for the show's star. By that point, Griffith had been married to his first wife Barbara for 12 years, though, so Lynn respectfully didn't act on her feelings.
“I had a crush on [Andy Griffith],” Lynn said, relating the story in the book Andy & Don: The Making of a Friendship and a Classic American TV Show. "But he was married, and [Barbara] was a lovely lady."
The furthest she went was when she once told Andy: "I wish you were twins, because that way there'd be one for Barbara, and one for me."
Lynn then went on to describe a publicity photo of her and Andy Griffith that was circulated when the show was on the air. In it, her hand is resting on his knee. It's possibly the only photo evidence of their flirtation.
At the same time, Lynn said that Knotts would also come around to see her when she appeared on the show.
"[Don] had poetry he had written that he would read to me," Lynn remembered.
But it was Andy for whom she continued to harbor quiet feelings, and later on, she even asked him if he would sign one of his portraits to her. What he wrote would fuel the flames of any crush: "You were Don's girl, but you should’ve been mine."
Lynn said she kept the photo and the inscription a secret because she "didn't want to hurt anyone’s feelings."
Eventually, Andy and Barbara divorced in 1972, after which Griffith remarried twice, but he and Betty Lynn never struck up a romance. She also never dated Knotts. However, she did continue to hold out for a love that was solely hers.
We've told you the story before about how she got engaged to the same man three times, before ending things for good four days before the wedding. Why? Because her fiancé admitted he had feelings for another woman. When she called the church to cancel, the bishop said, "I'm sorry."
She replied, "I'm not."