Frances Bavier: ''Actresses make very poor wives''

Aunt Bee was a strong, successful woman who didn't need a man!

Can we truly ever have it all? According to Frances Bavier, we cannot. 

If you've ever had a dream, you know what it's like to sacrifice in pursuit of your goal. Great reward never comes without risk, and sometimes, it takes a giant compromise to get to where we're going. 

Frances Bavier had a dream, and she did everything she could to chase it. For her, the acting craft provided endless thrills and excitement, even decades into her career. It was a joy that was unmatched by interpersonal relationships. Her dedication to acting superseded any other love in her life. In fact, she cited her devotion to acting as the reason her one and only marriage dissolved.

"I married a man who was charming in every way," Bavier told the Hartford Courant, "except that, being non-professional, he had little patience with my dedication to acting. I wanted to be both a wife and an actress, but learned quickly that this is impossible, at least in my specific case. To paraphrase Shakespeare, it was not that I loved him less, but I loved acting more." 

Fortunately for fans of The Andy Griffith Show, Aunt Bee wouldn't let something as simple as true love distract her from her goals. Her steadfast refusal to give way to the pressures of domesticity totally contrasted with the trends of her day.

"I know that many psychologists, particularly women psychologists, hold that a woman can have both a home and a career. And I have nothing but admiration for the women who are forced by economic circumstances to accept outside employment while maintaining a home."

Her onscreen persona, too, never settled for less than what she wanted. No man in Mayberry proved good enough for Aunt Bee, so she remained unmarried for life. Sure, she had her romances, but all of them, as featured on The Andy Griffith Show, amounted to little more than flirtation. It seems that, in real life, Bavier shared her character's refusal to allow a man to steal her shine.

"I speak only of career women like myself, who delude themselves that they can make a husband happy, even though he's shaded in a dark corner while she basks in the spotlight. Actresses, either dedicated or successful because of their glamour, make very poor wives."

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Zip 8 months ago
Love Aunt Bee. But Frances, Frances... cats can never take the place of a husband. It's sad that she died pretty much alone and depressed.
She kind of has a warped view of the husband/wife relationship. A man isn't supposed to be trying to "steal your shine" as she puts it. A husband and wife are supposed to complement each other, not compete.
LoveMETV22 8 months ago

Sounds like Frances Bavier was very career focused. If that's what worked for her, that's good.
Runeshaper 8 months ago
That made me very sad, but it's a personal choice in the end.
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