Frances Bavier on Don Knotts: ''I don't think I said more than five words to him'' during the entire run of The Andy Griffith Show

Aunt Bee gives us the real scoop.

Some friendships are forever, and sometimes two people are simply destined to be nothing more than coworkers. Both of these trajectories are completely fine, but for many viewers, it can almost be painful to imagine that the characters we see on screen are not actually as friendly with each other in real life.

In an interview with The Herald-Sun, Frances Bavier spoke about her co-star, Don Knotts, during their time together on The Andy Griffith Show. While Knotts only spent five seasons of the series as a main character and Bavier remained for the entire duration, Barney Fife and Aunt Bee were commonly found on-screen together. As Andy's best friend, it only made sense that Barney and Aunt Bee develop some kind of a relationship. 

But in the interview, Bavier revealed that while she and Knotts were on screen together quite a bit, they didn't spend as much time talking behind the scenes. She said, "I don't think I said more than five words to him the whole time." The distance between the two wasn't based on mutual dislike. Rather, Bavier maintained that she still felt comfortable working around Knotts, so it was clear that she respected and liked Knotts as a co-star.

Apparently, Knotts was also quite suave when he wasn't playing bumbling Barney Fife, and even Bavier noticed. She continued, "One time I told him 'You're as attractive as Fred Astaire.' He has style and he thinks he's a Don Juan. He used to wear a trench coat with the collar turned up and a girl on his arm. You had a hard time not laughing. But he's nice, he's very nice."

Bavier said of the series, "The humor in The Andy Griffith Show is the hardest kind. It's so gentle, so subtle. It's not a farce, so you can't scream it out. It's on a thin wire."

She also likened the show's durability and longevity to classic children's stories, "They are like fairy tales. Children read Cinderella a hundred times. The shows are like an adult fairy tale."

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Mark112763 4 months ago
Does anyone recall seeing Frances Bavier playing a part in the original The Day The Earth Stood Still ?. Well. She did. She was one of the guests at the boarding house where Klatu the alien rented a room...
italianrose74 4 months ago
Classic Andy annoyed with Aunt Bee
Thanks for sharing that.
By the way, Francis was outstanding on a "77 Sunset Strip" episode, as a little old lady
leading a gang of bank robbers, using gangster slang, with Kookie as the getaway driver!
Hilarious, polar opposite of Aunt Bee, I suspect that's why she was cast, any TAGS fan
will get lot of laughs watching it. "77 Sunset Strip" is run twice, late Sunday nights, on
MeTV + along with Hawaiian Eye.
JHP 4 months ago
and for an old lady to state that - that's telling:)
spmcrae1 4 months ago
I lived in Siler City,North Carolina, which is the same town that Frances Bavier lived in. She was never married and she was one who never ventured out into the public after her retirement. She lived alone with her house full of cats. She had all her groceries and whatever else she needed delivered to her door. She was always said to be a real B——. The entire time I lived in that town I never saw her one time!
italianrose74 spmcrae1 4 months ago
I have heard the exact same thing. That Aunt B was a real B in real life!
This just proves it!
JHP italianrose74 4 months ago
It doesnt surprise me at all - I wonder if she enjoyed her character on TAGS. I doubt it
LarryHop 4 months ago
I wish I could watch TVland. However they will not settle with dish, and want a lot of money from dish customers just to watch.
Aujude LarryHop 4 months ago
I had a dish, too expensive,
Try an antena, cheap easy.
I get about 35 channels of TV I actually watch. Walmart $50
Try it, best move I made
JHP LarryHop 4 months ago
so then you don't get the sundance channel (but then they chop shows just like TVLand does also)
LarryHop 4 months ago
This comment has been removed.
JHP FredGoss88 4 months ago
then you are very very lucky:):)
FredGoss88 JHP 4 months ago
I wonder why they deleted my comment. Maybe because I promoted PlutoTV.
JHP FredGoss88 4 months ago
maybe... - I mention sundance - although critically because again TVL and sundance really chop shows

but then OTA channels are nothing but ads - and it's immune to the god-send the FF button on the remote
tootsieg 4 months ago
Like Frances Bavier said “Like an adult fairytale”.
WordsmithWorks 4 months ago
Just because you are in the same cast doesn't mean you 'll be BFFs. Cordial, yes, but not necessarily close.
Runeshaper 4 months ago
That's interesting. I'm not sure I would expect them to chat often, but would think it's a possibility.
FredGoss88 4 months ago
I've always heard she was a real "B" on the set.
memphiscate08 FredGoss88 4 months ago
I really doubt this. She was a lady and the guys on the show spent a lot of time playing juvenile pranks. And I can believe Don thought he was hot stuff!
FredGoss88 memphiscate08 4 months ago
It's true. She even apologized to Andy later in life about the way she acted on the set.
JHP memphiscate08 4 months ago
he was a squirt
collin8 4 months ago
I'll give you something to watch for. At the end of "Aunt Bee's Medicine Man" Andy and Barney are playing checkers. Andy implies that Barney should see Doc Andrews and while Barney thinks about it Andy moves twice in a row. Check it out
GTNeal 4 months ago
Based on what I’ve read about the show over the years, Frances Bavier was like Aunt Bee only in the sense that she was prim and proper. Otherwise she could be a bit prickly and ultimately felt bad about that toward the end of her life. She was said to be turned off by Andy Griffith’s loud (and sometimes profane) personality. Don Knotts, despite his lack of leading man good looks, was apparently known to be a ladies man.
Ms. Bavier was closest to Jim Nabors, and they would occasionally go antique shopping together.
DTL1962 4 months ago
You can’t judge a book by its cover. I read that Francis Bavier (Aunt Bee) was nothing like her character at all very Stand offish is what I have read about her.
Blowfly 4 months ago
When I ask my wife did she realize she was older than Aunt Bea was ( 57 ) when the series premiered in 1960 she hit me.
JHP Blowfly 4 months ago
there's my morning guffaw for the day:):):
MrsPhilHarris 4 months ago
What an odd thing to say. She sounds abrasive.
She sounds just like my aunt, prim and proper and on a set like TAGS (I would assume
it would have had a heavily 1960's Boys Club atmosphere what with all the male talent behind
and in front of the cameras) she would have been subject to hearing plenty of naughty
comments. And as with my aunt, that would just encourage them to tease even more
once they realized she disapproved of them.
When I mentioned my pals and I had been off to NYC on Saturday to hit the clubs,
McSorleys etc, auntie would invariably comment "oh, so your off tramp hunting again".
It's hard to warm up to blue noses like her and Francis.
😂 Your aunt sounds very Frances-like.
ncadams27 4 months ago
She said, “I don’t think I said more than five words to him the whole time”, then once said to him “You’re as attractive as Fred Astaire”. That’s six words!
ChrisAnn ncadams27 4 months ago
Knew someone would pick up on that 😁
justjeff 4 months ago
Based on other things I've read about Bavier - to me, she comes across as the Tina Louise-ish 'Diva" of the Geriatric set...
Leigh4 4 months ago
Wow..... hmmm
Don Knotts was a great guy. Most of his co-stars spoke well of him.
ASperos 4 months ago
Don’t really know what to think about that. I like to think those actors on TAGS were really as they seem.
Irish 4 months ago
Hmmmm.... interesting.
cperrynaples Irish 4 months ago
Yes, that comes out to one word a year...LOL!
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