Fans of the hit CBS American family comedy television series, “The Andy Griffith Show” surely remember Frances Bavier’s character, Aunt Bee.
Before her death in 1989, Frances Bavier warmed the hearts of millions with her role in the show as Andy and Opie Taylor’s aunt. But at the time of her passing, how much was the actress and theater star worth? Well folks, lets get into it.
Not only was Bavier a movie and television actress, but she also worked in the New York theater. Before making it to television, Frances Bavier earned her first Broadway role in 1925 in “The Poor Nut.” After that, her impressive list of stage roles continued to grow.
In the early 1930s, Frances Bavier began appearing in film and television. Her first on-screen role came in the 1951 film “The Day the Earth Stood Still.” At 58-years-old, she took the role of the kindly Aunt Bee.
After her time on “The Andy Griffith Show” ended, she reprised her role in “Mayberry R.F.D.” as Aunt Bee. Her performance in the show earned her a 1967 Emmy nomination for Outstanding Supporting Comedy Actress.
But wait, there’s more! Aunt Bee returned to television again in one episode of the 1967 American situation comedy, “Gomer Pyle, U.S.M.C.”
According to a recently updated article, Frances Bavier died with a net worth of $1.4 million! Every year, she took home $400,000. Each month, she walked away with $32,000. And each week, the actress earned $8,000. So, readers, it looks like the performer did pretty well for herself.
What Was ‘Andy Griffith Show’ Star Frances Bavier’s Final Project?
After Frances Bavier spent over a decade playing Aunt Bee on two different sitcoms, she only worked one other time as an actress. She played The Lady with the Cat in the 1974 family comedy classic “Benji.” In the movie, Bavier played the elderly owner of a white cat named Sweetie Petey.
After playing that small role, Bavier retired from acting in her early 70s. She passed away in 1989 at the age of 86 due to a number of health issues.
Aunt Bee Actress Frances Bavier’s 1966 Studebaker Was Once Object of a Bidding War
After fifty years of not knowing how to drive, Frances Bavier chose to get behind the wheel of a 1966 Studebaker. Guess what, Outsiders? This was her car of choice and the only vehicle she drove for the rest of her life.
In a 1972 interview with MeTV, Bavier discussed how emotionally attached she’d become to the vehicle. “I’ll shed real tears when this one passes on.”
Bavier wasn’t the only one to admire the iconic rust-bucket. When Frances Bavier passed away and her car was found, it sat with deflated tires and an interior covered with fur from her multitude of cats that slept inside.
The old Studebaker was left to auction with the director of North Carolina Center for Public TV, John Dunlop. At first, he assumed the car would go for a couple of hundred dollars. However, bids ended up increasing to thousands of dollars!