New York City, New York
Place of Death
Siler City, North Carolina
Claim to Fame
The Andy Griffith Show
Actor/Actress, Soundtrack, Other Crew
Has Detailed Data (New)
Profile Bio Text
Frances Elizabeth Bavier (December 14, 1902 – December 6, 1989) was an American stage and television actress. Originally from New York theatre, Bavier worked in film and television from the 1950s. She played the role of Aunt Bee on The Andy Griffith Show and Mayberry R.F.D. from 1960 to 1970. Aunt Bee logged more Mayberry years (ten) than any other character. Bavier won an Emmy Award for Outstanding Supporting Comedy Actress for the role in 1967.
Born in New York City, Bavier originally planned to become a teacher after attending Columbia University. She first appeared in vaudeville, later moving to the Broadway stage. After graduating from American Academy of Dramatic Arts in 1925, she found herself cast in the stage comedy The Poor Nut. Bavier's big break came in the original Broadway production of On Borrowed Time. She later appeared with Henry Fonda in the play Point of No Return.
Bavier had roles in more than a dozen films, as well as playing a range of supporting roles on television. Career highlights include her turn as Mrs. Barley in the classic 1951 film The Day the Earth Stood Still. In 1955 she played an early auntie-role as Aunt Maggie Sawtelle, a frontier Ma Barker-type character in the Lone Ranger episode 'Sawtelle's Saga End'. In the episode she fought with Tonto while the Lone Ranger fought with her nephew. At the conclusion, Tonto says that he'd like to trade opponents next time. In 1957 she played Nora Martin, mother to Eve Arden, in the series The Eve Arden Show. That year she guest starred in the eighth episode of Perry Mason as Louise Marlow in "The Case of the Crimson Kiss".
Bavier had a love-hate relationship with her most famous role, Aunt Bee, during The Andy Griffith Show. She was also in an episode of Make Room for Daddy which featured Andy Griffith as Andy Taylor. She played a character named Henrietta Perkins. As a New York actress, she felt her dramatic talents were overlooked. At the same time, she played Aunt Bee for eight seasons and was the only original cast member to remain with the series in the spin-off Mayberry R.F.D., staying two additional seasons. 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. She won the Primetime Emmy Award Outstanding Performance by an Actress in a Supporting Role in a Comedy in 1967. 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.
Couple Profile Source
Full Name at Birth
Frances Elizabeth Bavier
Cause of Death
Congestive heart failure due to heart attack
Frances Elizabeth Bavier (December 14, 1902 – December 6, 1989) was an American stage and television actress. Originally from New York theatre, Bavier worked in film and television from the 1950s. She is best known as the role of Aunt Bee on The Andy Griffith Show and Mayberry R.F.D. from 1960 to 1970. Aunt Bee logged more Mayberry years (ten) than any other character. Bavier won an Emmy Award for Outstanding Supporting Comedy Actress for the role in 1967.
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