MOUNT AIRY, N.C. (WGHP) — There are only a few days left to stake your claim on the personal belongings of Betty Lynn, the actress who played Thelma Lou on “The Andy Griffith Show.”

Lynn died on October 16, 2021, at the age of 95 after a brief illness. While she was born in Kansas City, Missouri, she was living in Mount Airy, North Carolina, at the time of her death. Mount Airy is notably Andy Griffith’s childhood home and the inspiration behind the show’s setting, Mayberry.


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Rogers Realty & Auction opened bidding on 531 of Lynn’s personal artifacts on July 21 with proceeds benefitting the Surry Arts Council in Mount Airy. The auction ends on Monday, July 31 with five lots closing every minute beginning at noon.

“Betty Lynn made a significant contribution to the great Mount Airy Community, her large fan base, the Catholic Church and the Surry Arts Council,” the auction description reads. “The Surry Arts Council can state with full assurance that all of the items in the auction were the property of Betty Lynn and were given to the Surry Arts Council prior to her passing. Proceeds from the auction will go to the Surry Arts Council to support children’s and school programs.”

Many of the items are going for very modest prices. As of Thursday evening, high bids on multiple rings and hats had only gotten as high as $10.

The highest bid, however, was $1,800 for Lynn’s 1-carat platinum diamond engagement ring.

Betty Lynn's 1-carat platinum diamond engagement ring (Rogers Auction Group)
Betty Lynn’s 1-carat platinum diamond engagement ring (Rogers Auction Group)
RETURN TO MAYBERRY — Pictured: (l-r) Betty Lynn as Thelma Lou, Andy Griffith as Andy Taylor, Don Knotts as Barney Fife — (Photo by: Frank Carroll/NBCU Photo Bank/NBCUniversal via Getty Images)

Her personal guitar with pick and case hit $750, making it the second most pricey item in the lineup.

Eight sets of five-piece sterling silver utensils alongside six serving pieces had not yet found any takers on its starting bid of $715, but six sets of four- or five-piece settings had reached $350.

In all, the auction features 194 rings, 92 necklaces, 85 bracelets, 21 watches and 18 rosaries. It also includes pendants, hats, earrings, books, brooches, jewelry boxes and a cross, as well as many other odds and ends.

Winning bidders will be able to pick up their items at the Arts Center at 215 Rockford Street in Mount Airy. Anyone interested in having their item shipped should contact the Surry Arts Council.

To browse the items available in the upcoming auction, visit the Rogers Auction Group website.

  • Betty Lynn's copy of "Mayberry Memories" by Ken Beck and Jim Clark is set to go up for auction. (Rogers Auction Group)
  • A bag embroidered "Thelma Lou," belonging to actress Betty Lynn who played the character on "The Andy Griffith Show," is set to go up for auction. (Rogers Auction Group)
  • A pocket watch owned by actress Betty Lynn is set to go up for auction. (Rogers Auction Group)
  • A guitar owned by actress Betty Lynn is set to go up for auction. (Rogers Auction Group)
  • A necklace owned by actress Betty Lynn is set to go up for auction. (Rogers Auction Group)

Previous auction

A previous auction including 118 of her personal artifacts was live from Dec. 17, 2021, to Dec. 30, 2021. By the time it closed, some items had sold for four figures.

The highest single bid on an item was $6,500 for a 12.5-by-10.5-inch framed illustration of Betty Lynn and Don Knotts. The drawing is signed by Henry E. Kidd and dated Oct. 14, 2017. Knotts, who died in 2006, played Deputy Sheriff Barney Fife on "The Andy Griffith Show."

A 12.5-by-10.5-inch framed illustration of Betty Lynn and Don Knotts, owned by actress Betty Lynn, sells at auction for $6,500. (Courtesy of Rogers Realty & Auction Co.)

The second highest-bid item was a Huntington 12-drawer side cabinet with a marble top which sold for $4,050.

One of the more intriguing items—a black-and-white, floral recipe box containing what appear to be hand-written recipes—sold for $2,956. It’s unclear exactly what recipes were inside the box.

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About Betty Lynn

Lynn was in 26 episodes of "The Andy Griffith Show" between 1961 and 1966, spanning the show’s first six seasons. Her character was Barney Fife’s girlfriend, Thelma Lou. She joined others from the cast for the “Return to Mayberry” reunion movie for NBC-TV in 1986.

Lynn made several movies for Fox, RKO, MGM and Universal, including:

  • “June Bride”
  • “Mother Is a Freshman”
  • “Father Was a Fullback”
  • “Cheaper by the Dozen”
  • “Payment on Demand”

She also performed in several stage productions and appeared in multiple shows during the early years of television.