HomeEntertainment‘The Andy Griffith Show’: What Was Don Knotts’ Net Worth at Death?

‘The Andy Griffith Show’: What Was Don Knotts’ Net Worth at Death?

by Jon D. B.
(Photo by Silver Screen Collection/Getty Images)

As one of history’s most unique and beloved actors, how much was ‘The Andy Griffith Show” alum Don Knotts worth after his death in 2006?

Few talents have ever managed to stand out the way Don Knotts did for his entire career. As gifted as he was one-of-a-kind, Knotts would cement himself as a pop culture icon as Deputy Sheriff Barney Fife on ‘The Andy Griffith Show.’ His Mayberry tenure would lead to a lifetime of comedic roles, many of which were tailor-made for him – like Warner Bros. ‘The Incredible Mr. Limpet’ (1964).

With dozens of other hit films and shows under his belt, the actor would amass quite the fortune in his lifetime. So how much, exactly, was Don Knotts worth upon his death?

According to trade Celebrity Net Worth, the ‘Andy Griffith Show’ star had a net worth equal to $20 million by his passing in 2006 (adjusted for inflation).

Similarly, fellow Golden-Era television icon Bob Denver would pass with an equal net worth. Gilligan of ‘Gilligan’s Island’ died a year prior to Knotts in 2005 with a net worth also sitting at $20 million.

As for the show’s namesake himself, Andy Griffith himself would pass in 2012 with a net worth of $60 million.

Comparatively, film legend John Wayne held nearly $50 million to spread between the Duke’s seven children. 

The Life of ‘The Andy Griffith Show’s Don Knotts

Don Knotts was born on July 21, 1924, as Jesse John Knotts in Morgantown, West Virginia. His family came to America early, with Celebrity Net Worth citing the Knotts’ roots as 1700’s English settlers.

 “His father was an alcoholic farmer who suffered from abusive bouts of schizophrenia and was bedridden at the time of Don’s birth,” the trade continues. Tragically, Don’s eldest brother would die young of pneumonia early on. As a result, he and his two remaining brothers would grow up in the boarding house their mother operated.

Knotts interest in comedy began early in life. His start came as a ventriloquist in his hometown, a trade he would later continue after being drafted into the U.S. Army in 1943. There, he would serve in the Army’s Special Services Branch under a military comedy troupe. Within, his act, known as “Stars and Gripes,” was a hit. So much so, in fact, that Knotts would grow to loathe its constant presence in his life. Legend has it that he threw the act’s signature dummy, “Danny,” overboard while serving at sea.

“The Andy Griffith Show” star would return to West Virginia after service in 1948. From there, his career as a comedy icon would unfold.

Griffith & Knotts: Friends for Life

After a long and prolific career in Hollywood, Knotts would be diagnosed with lung cancer in the early 2000s. The disease would ultimately claim his life in 2006 at the age of 81.

“One of the last people to leave his bedside was his good friend and frequent costar Andy Griffith,” CNW states of the star’s death.

As a tribute, Griffith advocated for a statue of Knotts to be placed in his hometown of Morgantown, WV. While he fought for it to be in his dear friend’s actual likeness, the statue would eventually erect as a sculpt of his most iconic role: “The Andy Griffith Show’s Deputy Barney Fife.