‘The Andy Griffith Show’: Don Knotts’ Daughter Remembers His ‘Mood Swings’

by Michael Freeman

Don Knotts was known for his happy, carefree personality on The Andy Griffith Show and in his other media appearances. According to his daughter though, he could have some pretty radical “mood swings” from time to time.

Page Six spoke to Don Knotts’ daughter, Karen Knotts, in an exclusive interview about her father. Don’s movie and television appearances were often jovial and comedic, especially his role as Barney on The Andy Griffith Show. Nonetheless, Karen notes one of his most interesting personality aspects was his “mood swings.” When these happened, she knew to keep her distance from him.

“He fascinated me,” Karen told the outlet. “He had these mood swings and you could look at his face and see like, OK, this is not a good time to approach him, but he was always very sweet to me. And he was like a father figure on the set. He was somebody that people could go and talk to.”

Karen touches up on this and more in her memoir about her father, Tied up in Knotts: My Dad and Me. It serves as a tribute to her father and talks in-depth about her childhood on Mayberry. Naturally, her father is discussed at length, including his “complex” personality. In fact, Karen makes it appear his personality off the set differed quite a bit from what we saw.

Karen Knotts Says Her Father Had a ‘Magnetic’ Personality

In the same interview with Page Six, Karen Knotts spoke more about her father’s personality, as well as his life. She noted mood swings, but they were rather rare. For the most part, according to her, he had a “magnetic” personality.

More specifically, this “magnetic” quality apparently applied to women. Knotts had three wives throughout his life, with Karen being born to his first wife, Kathryn Metz. This aspect of Don’s personality is discussed at length in her memoir, especially when she was in high school, with him being single and dating again.

“There was something about my dad,” Karen recalled. “Even I noticed like there was something about him that drew you in. Like you could just be sitting and having a normal conversation with him, and you would just be staring into his eyes, like trying to figure out what he was really thinking. There was something magnetic about his personality, and women definitely responded to that.”

It goes even further than that. She goes on to say women never got angry with him, even after a breakup. “There was never a woman who was angry at him. Like nobody said, ‘Oh, your dad didn’t come through with the relationship’ or anything. Everybody loved him, and if the relationship was over, they became his friend.”