Barney Fife may not have had a lot of luck in love on The Andy Griffith Show, but that wasn’t true for his actor Don Knotts. In real life, Knotts was quite the ladies’ man.
According to Don’s daughter Karen, Don was “very loved by women all the time.”
In an interview with Page Six, Karen explained that her father had an energy and charisma that seemed to make the star irresistible.
“There was something about my dad,” she remembered. “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.”
Karen’s mom, Kathryn Metz, and Don divorced in 1964. And when Karen was a high schooler, her dad had custody. So she saw firsthand how many women loved Don Knotts. And what made his dating life even more interesting was the fact that he wasn’t a heartbreaker. Almost every relationship he had ended in a healthy friendship.
“There was never a woman who was angry at him,” she told Page Six. “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.”
‘The Andy Griffith Show’: Don Knotts’ Daughter Dispels Rumors About Him and Andy
Generations of The Andy Griffith Show fans have incorrectly assumed that Don Knotts and Andy Griifth didn’t get along. Some even thought the stars hated each other.
“Some people still think they were rivals. They weren’t rivals at all,” Karen told Fox. “There was no rivalry. Andy was my dad’s biggest fan. He was a mentor to him his whole life and they loved each other dearly.”
Karen, who recently released a memoir titled Tied up in Knotts: My Dad and Me, admitted that Andy Griffith did have some enemies on the set of his iconic sitcom. But it wasn’t because he was a bad guy. They simply didn’t like the actor because he liked to “do things his own way.”
But Don never saw Andy’s stubborn personality as a negative quality. He actually respected him more for it. Karen said that the two were instant friends, and they remained close until Don passed in 2006. And more importantly, the relationship transcended their careers.
Don Knotts actually left The Andy Griffith Show prematurely, and Andy supported his friend’s decision—even though it put his series at risk of being cancelled.
And when Don Knotts was diagnosed with macular degeneration, Andy was by his side.
“Andy was there for him. He supported him,” Karen revealed. “He was a constant presence in my dad’s life. They just loved each other.”