In today’s quiz around “The Andy Griffith Show,” who appeared in more of the show’s episodes, Deputy Barney Fife or Aunt Bee?
Hmm, let’s take a look at the Mayberry IMDb tale of the tape. Fife, played Don Knotts, appeared in 162 episodes. Bee, played by Frances Bavier, appeared in 178 episodes. That means Aunt Bee beat out Ol’ Barn in this episodic countdown.
One reason Bavier appeared in more “The Andy Griffith Show” episodes than Knotts might be because she stayed throughout its entire eight-season run. Knotts left after five seasons because he thought Griffith was going to end his series at that time. That’s what Griffith had said at the beginning of the show’s run on CBS.
‘The Andy Griffith Show’ Star Went Out And Got Movie Deal With Universal
So Knotts had to go out and find himself some work. That’s how he landed a five-film deal with Universal Pictures, leading to movies like “The Shakiest Gun in the West” and “The Reluctant Astronaut.” But he would make occasional guest-starring appearances, coming back to Mayberry.
In the storyline of “The Andy Griffith Show,” Fife left Mayberry to go work for the Mount Pilot Police Department. Knotts would go on and star in “Three’s Company” as landlord Ralph Furley in the 1970s. He and Griffith, though, worked together again on Griffith’s legal show “Matlock.”
What’s really funny to know is just how much Andy didn’t like Don’s work on the ABC comedy, where he played opposite John Ritter.
“I thought Don, for instance, was awful on ‘Three’s Company’,” Griffith said in an interview for the Archive of American Television. “I told him when he came into ‘Matlock.’ I said, ‘Don, bring it down, bring it down. You were on ‘Three’s Company’ too long.’ Because he was performing the same way with those big, huge takes and everything.”
Bavier’s Life After Show Found Her Becoming A Recluse
Yet we should spend a little time talking about Bavier. She and Griffith did not get along on “The Andy Griffith Show” set. That’s not a secret.
Once she was done with the spinoff “Mayberry R.F.D.,” Bavier retired to North Carolina. She wanted to taste that small-town life she played on TV in real life. But fans would come along to her home, even going so far as to peek through windows to see Aunt Bee.
It drove Bavier into being a total recluse. Even Griffith and Ron Howard, who played Opie Taylor on “The Andy Griffith Show,” went to see if Bavier would be part of “Return to Mayberry.” She would not even open the door to see them, only speak through the closed front door.
Bavier died in Siler City, N.C., on Dec. 6, 1989, at 86 years old. She’d suffered from heart issues later in her life.