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‘Aunt Bee’

May 20th, 2014 1 comment

Frances Elizabeth Bavier (December 14, 1902 – December 6, 1989)

Born in New York City,  Francis attended Columbia University and the American Academy of Dramatic Arts. She first appeared in vaudeville, and later moved to the Broadway stage.

Francis Bavier had roles in more than a dozen films, as well as playing a range of supporting roles on television. 

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We knew her as ‘Aunt Bee‘ on The Andy Griffith Show and Mayberry R.F.D. ( 1960 to 1970). 

The actor reportedly had a love-hate relationship with her most famous role, nevertheless she stayed with it for ten years, logging in more ‘Mayberry years’ than any other character. She won an academy award in 1967 for best supporting actor.


In contrast to her affable character Aunt Bee, Bavier was easily offended and the production staff took a “walking on eggshells” approach to dealing with her. Series star Andy Griffith admitted that the two sometimes clashed during the series’ run. According to Griffith (Larry King Live, April 24, 1998), Bavier phoned him four months before she died, and said she was deeply sorry for being “difficult” during the series’ run. 

 

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