‘The Andy Griffith Show’: Frances Bavier Apologized to Andy Griffith Before Her Death
The Andy Griffith Show ran on CBS from 1960 to 1968. Andy Griffith starred as Sheriff Andy Taylor living in the fictional town Mayberry, N.C., and Frances Bavier played Andy’s Aunt Bee. While the show was known for its morality, there was still drama behind the scenes. Bavier and Griffith reportedly did not get along while working on The Andy Griffith Show together.
Andy Griffith and Frances Bavier did not get along on ‘The Andy Griffith Show’
On set, Griffith loved to play pranks and practical jokes with the cast and crew of The Andy Griffith Show. However, Bavier detested practical jokes. Griffith also liked to keep the set of The Andy Griffith Show light and fun, and cast members were encouraged to sing, dance, and joke around with one another.
Bavier did not take her job lightly, and she always remained as professional as possible even when the camera was not rolling. Because of this, she clashed with the off-set behavior that Griffith encouraged.
According to Andy and Don: The Making of a Friendship and a Classic American TV Show, Jim Nabors was the only cast member of The Andy Griffith Show who got along with Bavier.
Frances Bavier moved to a small town
Bavier moved to Siler City, N.C. in 1972 when she retired. She died in 1989, and in the years leading up to her death, Bavier retreated from the public eye. Not only did she move to a small town, but she also rarely left her home.
The Los Angeles Times reported that she “spent most of her time in a large back room plainly furnished with a bed, a desk, a television and an end table, where she kept her reading and opera glasses, black licorice and a bell.”
Frances Bavier apologized to Andy Griffith for their time on ‘The Andy Griffith Show’
In 1986, Griffith and Ron Howard decided to visit Bavier at her home. Because of fan attention, Bavier had withdrawn herself from the public and barely spoke to anyone.
The Triad City Beat described Bavier’s refusal to see Griffith and Howard, writing:
“Bavier refused to allow her decade-long coworkers inside, speaking to them only momentarily through the closed front door. This was after declining repeatedly to be part of their Mayberry reunion movie. Why would she participate? She never liked Andy Griffith from the very beginning.”
While Bavier chose not to speak to Griffith and Howard that day, she did eventually make amends with Griffith. On Larry King Live in 1998, Griffith revealed that Bavier actually called him in the months leading up to her death. On the phone call, Bavier admitted that she regretted being so difficult to work with on The Andy Griffith Show, and she apologized for her behavior.