Betty Lynn remembered her first time playing Thelma Lou with Don Knotts

Knotts would read Lynn his poetry.

Thelma Lou and Barney Fife were a match made in heaven, and it's so much sweeter to watch these two characters love each other onscreen knowing that in real life, the actors were just as close.

In Karen Knott's book Tied Up In Knotts: My Dad and Me, Knotts' daughter was able to get the inside scoop on the beginnings of Thelma Lou from the woman herself, Betty Lynn. Lynn recounted her beginnings on The Andy Griffith Show and said, "I was kind of shocked when I got called in to read the part."

Karen wrote that Lynn and her father became fast friends when they first met, though Lynn had seen Knotts' previous work in other roles. Lynn said, "I had seen his performances in other things. He was very quiet, very smart."

In her earlier moments on the show, Lynn had what's called a "hold" placed on her as an actress, which simply meant that Lynn had to clear her schedule just in case the creators decided to include her character in the episode and offer her a chance to come shoot an episode on set.

Lynn recalled her and Knotts' working together, and said, "I loved doing it!" She said, "I had never studied acting, and your daddy hadn't either. Both of us, here we are, playing side by side, and neither one of us had gone to acting school."

Lynn also remembered moments on set between scenes when Knotts read some of his original work to her. Lynn said, "Sometimes when we were waiting for them to set up a shot, Don would visit with me. He would tell me he was a poet; he had some poems he'd written, and he would read them to me."


Watch The Andy Griffith Show on MeTV!

Weeknights at 8 & 8:30, Sundays at 6 & 6:30 PM

*available in most MeTV markets
Are you sure you want to delete this comment?
Close

12 Comments

PappyC 1 month ago
I watch this show everyday. In hope of simple times life was so much better back then . And since then the world got little worse everyday til well yall see where we're at today..
Runeshaper 1 month ago
Sounds like they had a nice relationship 🙂
MrsPhilHarris 1 month ago
She could have done better than Barney.
PappyC MrsPhilHarris 1 month ago
What was wrong with barney? Did you want her with
A.Otis
B.Floyd
C.Goober
D.Gomer
MrsPhilHarris PappyC 1 month ago
None of the above. A sweet little thing like Thelma Lou should have had a man that treated her like a Queen. Barney did not.
MrSchwamp MrsPhilHarris 1 month ago
Indeed!
She could have had me! (Mr. Schwamp).
MrsPhilHarris MrSchwamp 1 month ago
No one seems to know who you are MrSchwamp. 😉 You are a man of mystery.
Andybandit 1 month ago
I liked Thelma Lou, better than Helen Crump.
FrankensteinLover 1 month ago
Love reading this, was lucky enough to meet Betty several times in Mount Airy and she was a Bird in this World.
I know Andy said that once but I don’t know what it means. 🤔
Basically like shes a one in a million, nobody else like her. She was the sweetest person you could ever meet.
Are you sure you want to delete this comment?