Tuesday, February 26, 2013

Aunt Bee, or Not Aunt Bee?

Gloria Dehaven

A photo has circulated on various "when they were young" and "urban legends" sites with the claim that it's a young, hot and pouty "Francis Bavier", aka "Aunt Bea" of The Andy Griffith Show. The caption claims the photo is from "around 1936", but It's actually a publicity still of actress Gloria DeHaven from 1949 for the 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 in 1949 and never posed for any "Cheesecake" photos. When she was younger she was a Broadway stage actress:

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

 Some publicity photos of Gloria DeHaven from Yes Sir, That's My Baby:


a scene with Donald O'Connor

and the film's poster (featuring BOOPKINS):

 Here's a photo of the younger Frances Bavier...

and another:

If you are looking for Aunt Bee posed in a sexy 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


  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.

  8. Now, if you'd please clear this one up ...


    The first photo on the second page of the Frances Bavier memorial page is that of Marion Lorne (Aunt Clara from the series Bewitched), but states it is FB. This just drives me crazy!

  9. ...I like Aunt Bee...but she is definitely not Gloria DeHaven...watching Frances Bavier as I type this in "Bend of the River" starring Jimmy Stewart...

  10. LOL here we are in 2024 and this crazy Aunt Bee stuff is making the rounds again. A couple months ago it was a phony Granny Clampett hoax so I was suspicious right away.