No. 60 Aunt Bee….

The exact quote is :  “I’ll get some coffee…Andy.” from the first episode of The Andy Griffith Show called ” The New Housekeeper.”

Aunt Bee was really Frances Elizabeth Bavier. (December 14th, 1902- December 6th, 1989.)  She attended both Columbia University and American Academy of Dramatic Arts. She first appeared in vaudeville then later acted on Broadway stage. She was later in 13 films and on television in 301 episodes in 30 shows. In 1967, she received an Emmy for Outstanding Supporting Comedy Actress .  What she’s really remembered for is acting in the character Aunt Bee in eight seasons of The Andy Griffith Show and two more seasons on Mayberry R.F.D.  She’s introduced to the viewer in the very first episode of The Andy Griffith Show.  Aunt Bee becomes the replacement for Rose the housekeeper that Opie loves.  Rose is getting married and moving away. Aunt Bee who also helped raise Andy Griffith in the story is now in Mayberry to help raise Opie. Opie, serves up one raw comment after the other -while grieving for Rose making the transition much harder for Aunt Bee. In the end he accepts her and her fried chicken.  Everyone watching that show loved Aunt Bee. Even I did, when I was a kid. In real life on the set Aunt Bee was supposedly not as loveable as her character depicted her to be. She was always she felt like she was being overlooked as an actress. Unfortunately, housekeepers seem to become wall flowers in most shows unless they have just made a turkey dinner with all the fixings or if they were demented killers poisoning people with their biscuits and gravy. They also surged ahead  in points when it  was dishwashing time. But when it comes to themes of chasing down  escaped criminals or apprehending jay-walkers or saving the good name of Mayberry  that usually fell on the shoulders of Barney Fife or Andy Griffith. Don’t forget it’s in the 50’s and 60’s. Women got married had kids or became housekeepers….She probably got irritated with her character in the end.  At one point the show even tried to marry her off to a handy man! That didn’t go well. She stated it well in these eighteen words..”I was an actress for 50 years…I just got tired of cooking fried chicken and washing dishes….”  After retiring , she led a quiet life -answering fan mail while enjoying her cats until her death eight days before she turned 87 years old. I just remember when watching The Andy Griffith Show when Aunt Bee  talked about what she had just cooked for dinner -it always made me hungry!

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