Frances Bavier (December 14, 1902 - December 6, 1989) was an American character actress, best remembered for her role as Aunt Bee on The Andy Griffith Show in the 1960s. She played the same role on Mayberry R.F.D.(1968-70). A convincing actress, nobody seemed to notice or care that the New York-born Bavier didn't speak with a Southern twang, as the other characters did.
In addition to her years in Mayberry, Bavier performed on Broadway and in more than a dozen films, as well playing a range of supporting roles on television. Career highlights include the play Point of No Return, alongside Henry Fonda, and her turn as Mrs. Barley in the classic 1951 film, The Day the Earth Stood Still.
Bavier's career illustrates the dilemma facing many strongly "typed" performers. Audiences took at face value her portrayal of a warm, nurturing matron, but co-workers and others who interacted with her reportedly often found her cool and distant.
Bavier, who was born in New York City, bought a home in Siler City, North Carolina sight unseen in 1972 and lived the rest of her life there. "I fell in love with North Carolina, all the pretty roads and the trees", she said in an interview.
Bavier and Andy Griffith did not get along well, over which Bavier was reportedly regretful on her death bed. An ailing medical condition prevented her from taking part in the 1986 Return to Mayberry movie.
She died from a heart attack in 1989 at her home in Siler City, aged 86, just 8 days before her 87th birthday. She had battled heart disease and cancer in her waning years.