Every great man has a better half if he’s lucky. In the case of actor and comedian Don Knotts, it took three attempts at true love, but his third wife Frances Yarborough fit the bill. As they say, the third time’s the charm.
Knotts played some of television’s most iconic characters. From his role as beloved deputy Barney Fife on The Andy Griffith Show to the goofy landlord on Three’s Company, fans adored Knotts for his humor and comedic timing.
To the surprise of some, Knotts was a bit of a ladies’ man during his life. According to his daughter, Karen Knotts, between marriages the actor had a healthy dating life and no lack of female suitors. His longtime friend and fellow actor Al Checco also saw it firsthand.
“Don was somewhat of a ladies’ man. He fancied himself something of a Frank Sinatra. The ladies loved him and he dated quite a bit,” Checco said of Knotts’ love life.
Don Knotts and His Three Marriages
The Emmy Award winner originally married his college sweetheart, Kathryn Metz, in 1947 at just 22 years old. The couple’s relationship ended in 1964 when they divorced, but they shared two children together, Karen and Thomas. In fact, Don Knotts raised Karen as a single parent after the divorce. Additionally, Karen even followed in her father’s footsteps and became an actor and comedian as well.
10 years later, Knotts married his second wife, Loralee Czuchna. That marriage lasted almost another decade until the couple began to draw apart. Supposedly, Knotts’ depression and being in the Hollywood spotlight took a toll on Czuchna. The pair never had children during their nine-year relationship before their divorce in 1983.
Following his second failed marriage, Knotts took his time before committing his life to another once again. However, after he met Frances Yarborough in the early 2000s, he knew he had met his perfect match. The two shared a love of acting. Yarborough played a small role in the 1976 movie The Electric Chair, but her career never really took off. She may not have gotten much work in Hollywood, but she did snag one of its most hilarious actors when they got hitched in 2002.
Yarborough became the stepmother to Knotts’ two kids, but the couple never did have children of their own. Sadly, their marriage only lasted four years, but not by choice. Knotts eventually lost his battle with lung cancer when he passed away in February 2006. The two loved each other until the very end. After the actor’s death, he left multiple properties to Yarborough. His third wife’s inheritance was allegedly worth millions, so Knotts made sure to take care of the woman he loved, even after he passed.