‘The Andy Griffith Show’: Don Knotts’ Daughter Describes Growing Up With ‘Different and Famous’ Father

by Hunter Miller

Many of us out probably think we have the funniest dad of all time. But when your father is Don Knotts, legendary star of “The Andy Griffith Show,” you might truly have the most hilarious pops in history.

Don Knotts’ daughter, Karen, is also in the comedy business. For years she wanted to pen a book about her iconic Dad. And now, she’s actually done it. Karen released “Tied Up in Knotts: My Dad and Me,” recalling what it was like growing up with the comedy legend.

During an interview with Fox News, Karen spoke out about the book and her father. When asked about what inspired her to take on the project, Karen said, “I started to realize that I should take the time to write this book and reach out to those who knew him that were still around, those I’ve never even known about.”

In the interview, Karen mentions that even as a kid, she realized her Dad was “different.” However, he wasn’t regarded by people in her circle like the celebrity that he truly was.

When asked when she realized her father was “different” from other dads, Karen said, “I’ve always known. He started on live television in the ‘50s. And everyone I knew watched ‘The Andy Griffith Show.'”

Karen continued by adding: “The kids at school knew who my father was. But nobody made a big deal out of it. Occasionally people would come to the door and ask for an autograph. But I grew up knowing he was different and famous.”

What Was Don Knotts Like as a Dad?

TV fans across the globe likely imagine Don Knotts was much like his character, Barney Fife, from “The Andy Griffith Show” in real life. However, Karen says that is not the case.

“He was not Barney Fife,” she said. “That was a great, funny character. But my father was witty and funny all on his own. He was a good father. He wasn’t a tough father at all, but he had high standards for us.”

Because he brought smiles to so many faces, many folks forget that Don Knotts experienced hard emotions just like the rest of us. Karen says her father battled “depression.”

“Like anyone else, he had his moods. He had depression that I had to talk him through sometimes because he had a really difficult childhood,” she said.

Some of those issues stem from his childhood, according to Karen. “He came from an alcoholic older brother and a paranoid schizophrenic father. He was living in extreme poverty during the Depression,” Karen added.

Being a loving daughter, Karen took it upon herself to help out her father. “So I became like a mini shrink… I would try to motivate him not to feel so depressed, to feel more positive about things,” she said.