There is no doubt, Outsiders, that Aunt Bee and Barney Fife are two of TV’s best characters from The Andy Griffith Show. Who had more episodes?
Let’s take a minute and look it up.
For those that don’t know, Frances Bavier played Aunt Bee while Don Knotts played Barney Fife.
Alright, according to IMDb, Bavier’s Aunt Bee made 12 more appearances than Knotts’ Barney Fife. That does make sense since Aunt Bee was a part of all eight seasons of The Andy Griffith Show. Knotts left after five seasons and went into movies.
Knotts, though, would make guest-star appearances until Griffith ended the sitcom after eight seasons.
Well, Outsiders, there you go with a “Tale of the Tape” between Bee and Barney.
‘The Andy Griffith Show’ Actress Sought Professional Help After Playing Role
Frances Bavier found herself playing one of the most beloved roles in Aunt Bee.
Doing so, though, had a rather powerful effect on her psyche.
In 1966, Bavier talked to The Star-Gazette newspaper about difficulties that came from playing the role.
Bavier said she started having trouble distancing herself from the role. After all, she was in costume and on the set for 12 hours a day sometimes.
She said you cannot be an actress for 40 years.
“Living in a world of make-believe, and not be affected…,” Bavier said. “Sooner or later, your mind begins to click, and in my case, you are wise to seek professional help, to help stop being Aunt Bee after work.”
Bavier Left Hollywood For Retirement In Small North Carolina City
After the show finished, Bavier actually left Hollywood and moved to North Carolina.
She actually became a recluse, scared because people were always looking to talk with Aunt Bee and not Bavier. Griffith, who she reportedly despised, and Howard went to her home in 1985 to see if she would be in the TV movie Return to Mayberry. She would not even open the door.
If you have ever seen the pilot episode, then you do see Bavier but she’s playing a different role.
What? Not Aunt Bee? Say it ain’t so. Well, it is so.
MeTV.com says in the pilot, Bavier played Mrs. Henrietta Perkins. Mrs. Perkins was a widow who lived in Mayberry.
Mrs. Perkins comes to Sheriff Andy Taylor in order to address an issue. Her concern is about Mr. Johnson, who has been “gouging” her for rental fees on a suit for her husband’s funeral.
What is the situation between the two? Well, this one is worth mentioning.
See, Mrs. Perkins’ husband actually was buried with the suit in question on. This is definitely one of those sitcom premises that just deserve a sitcom’s attention.