Tuesday, February 26, 2013

Aunt Bee, or Not Aunt Bee?

A photo has been circulating on various "When they were young" and "urban legends" sites with the false claim that it's a young and hot "Francis Bavier", aka "Aunt Bee" of The Andy Griffith Show". It's clearly not.  The caption claims it's from "around 1936", but It's actually a publicity still of actress Gloria DeHaven from the 1949 film Yes Sir, That's My baby which co-starred Donald O'Connor.  Dehaven, born in 1925, was 24 when the photo was taken. Frances Bavier, born in 1902, would have been 47 years old, and never posed for any "cheesecake" publicity photos. When she was younger she was a Broadway stage actress:


 Another clue that the claim is bogus, the real spelling of her first name is "Frances", not "Francis", and the character's name on the show was spelled "Bee", not "Bea" (a common mistake) as mistakenly captioned with the photo:
Francis Bavier – better known as Aunt Bea on the Andy Griffith Show.
(Photo taken around 1936)

more 1949 publicity photos of Gloria DeHaven...

The Smoking Gun:
Gloria DeHaven & Donald O'Connor in "Yes Sir, That's My baby"

 Here's an actual photo of the younger Frances Bavier...

Of course, if you're looking for a sexy, smokin'-hot image of Frances Bavier (Aunt Bee) posed in a two-piece bathing suit, you've come to the right place:

my portrait of "TV Babe" Aunt Bee, originally
 published in TV GUIDE
thanks to Richard Samson for correctly ID'ing Gloria DeHaven


  1. The photo at the top is an actress, her name is Gloria Dehaven


  2. Oh, I remember Gloria DeHaven alright. On Ren & Stimpy, the layout crew had to practice drawing her for a cartoon called Naked Beach Frenzy. John Kricfalusi is a big fan of Owen Fitzgerald's Bob Hope comics. He especially loved the way Owen drew cartoon girls. John saw Gloria on TCM one night, and decided her head and figure had the ideal proportions for a pretty girl "type" in animation.

    She really does look like a 1940s girl drawing: big eyes, pouty lips, big head, cute petite figure. She's a live-action Preston Blair or Freddie Moore (Disney) cartoon. Although the images you posted make her look like a sexpot, her personality onscreen was more innocent -- a girl-next-door type who was only inadvertently sexy. We had to study every inch of her -- not a bad gig at all.

    No straight male in his right mind could ever confuse her with Aint Bee, though. The original post must've been a gag. Man, that cheesecake Aint Bee caricature could replace the time-honored Casey Stengel baseball card for preventing premature ejaculation!

  3. Thank you for this article. I have been trying to kill off that urban myth about Aunt Bee for weeks. I even did a podcast episode about it. Two Chairs No Waiting 227: Frances Bavier or Not http://imayberry.com/podcasts/2013/03/two-chairs-no-waiting-227-frances-bavier-or-not/

  4. The TV Guide pix of Aunt Bee: AAAAAHHHHHH!!!

  5. Funny, I just got an email of that picture and thought it wasn't right. Thanks for the clarification.

  6. The first comment is by J.D. Hyman.

  7. Right, your correct ID'ing
    of her came just after Richard Samsons.