Frances Bavier Poster


Jump to: Overview (3)  | Mini Bio (1)  | Spouse (1)  | Trivia (9)  | Personal Quotes (1)

Overview (3)

Born in New York City, New York, USA
Died in Siler City, North Carolina, USA  (congestive heart failure due to heart attack)
Birth NameFrances Elizabeth Bavier

Mini Bio (1)

Frances Bavier was born in New York City on December 14, 1902. Her first Broadway appearance was in April 1925 in "The Poor Nut", the start of a successful Broadway career. She traveled with the USO to entertain the U.S. troops in the Pacific during World War II. Her last appearance on Broadway was in the 1951 play, "Point of No Return" starring Henry Fonda. It ran for 356 performances.

Her first movie was the 1951 sci-fi classic The Day the Earth Stood Still (1951), which was also the first time Frances appeared with Olan Soule. He later went on to play Mayberry's choir director, John Masters, on the The Andy Griffith Show (1960). In the movie, they were both boarders in the rooming house where the alien stayed. She made many movies during the 50s and appeared on TV as featured characters on shows like It's a Great Life (1954) and The Eve Arden Show (1957) before what would become her most famous role, that of Aunt Bee to Andy Taylor (Andy Griffith) and Opie Taylor (Ron Howard) on The Andy Griffith Show (1960).

- IMDb Mini Biography By: Allan Newsome <anewsome@aol.com>

Spouse (1)

Russell Carpenter (1928 - 1933) ( divorced)

Trivia (9)

A life-long exponent of Studebaker automobiles. The last car she bought was a 1966 model, the last model year for the make, made in the Canadian plant in Hamilton, Ontario. Some accounts say that the car was a 1964, the last year of production in the US plant in South Bend, Indiana. During the production of The Andy Griffith Show (1960) and Mayberry R.F.D. (1968) she drove herself to and from the studio in it. Reportedly, it can be seen in the latter series. Miss Bavier took it to her home in North Carolina after she retired there and is believed to have last driven it in 1983. After her death in 1989, it was found sitting on four flat tires and its interior had been ruined by cats. Even so, two Andy Griffith fans bought it for $20,000 at auction.
"Nobody will move me, I am not a dining room table, I am not a sofa, I am not a rug, how dare you!" [her reaction to Howard Morris trying to rearrange the set].
She performed in the live action reference footage for Walt Disney's "Sleeping Beauty" (1959).
Despite her good-hearted image on screen, cast members of The Andy Griffith Show (1960) often remember her as difficult, temperamental and somewhat cold. Griffith himself said "There was just something about me she did not like.".
She bought her Siler City home sight unseen after falling in love with the beauty of North Carolina. "I, like a child, came here looking for a fairyland" she once said.
Sadly, when Bavier retired in 1972, she quickly became a recluse in her two-story Siler City, North Carolina home. She rarely left the house. She left most of her $700,000 estate to a hospital foundation. The home in which she lived in for 17 years was poorly upheld upon her death, nearly irreparable from the damage caused by her 14 house cats.
After moving to North Carolina upon her retirement, Frances was initially named honorary chairman of the Christmas Seal drive for the Mid-State Tuberculosis and Respiratory Disease Association and was appointed chairman of the 1973 Easter Seal Campaign for the North Central Chapter of the state Easter Seal society. As time passed, however, Bavier found herself overwhelmed by demands of her services and retreated forever.
In an interview, when director Ron Howard was pressed as to the stories of discord with her on the set of The Andy Griffith Show (1960), all he would say was, "I just don't think she enjoyed being around children that much.".
Her ex-husband Russell Carpenter was in the military. They divorced after five years due to conflicting career ambitions.

Personal Quotes (1)

[speaking in the 1970s] I had played Aunt Bee for ten years and it's very, very difficult for an actress or actor to create a role and be so identified that you as a person no longer exist and all the recognition you get is for a part that's created on screen.

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