During a recent interview with The Andy Griffith Show star Don Knotts‘ daughter, Karen, she opened up about his fans and why they “frustrated” her at times.
Knotts is most well-known for his role as the goofy, accident prone Deputy Barney Fife in the hit 1960s comedy series. His popularity on the show opened numerous doors for the comedic actor who would go on to star in multiple films. They include The Incredible Mr. Limpet, The Shakiest Gun in the West and The Apple Dumpling Gang.
In addition, Knotts would go on to star as landlord Ralph Furley in Three’s Company. His role in the popular ’70s/’80s sitcom introduced the actor to a whole new generation of fans.
In September of this year, The Andy Griffith Show star’s daughter released a book about her life around her famous father. Karen Knotts’ book Tied Up in Knotts: My Dad and Me honors her dad who passed away back in February 2006.
“There was something about my dad,” Karen told Page Six in the interview. “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,” she added. “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.”
Growing up, Karen spent plenty of time on the set of Mayberry while he starred in The Andy Griffith Show. She got to know her father’s work well. However, she’s never liked that her dad’s fans seemed to simply think of him as his characters.
“People always tend to associate him with his characters,” she said. “And that frustrated me because I thought my dad was so interesting.”
Don Knotts Found Solace While Working on ‘The Andy Griffith Show’
Speaking in a separate interview, Karen Knotts spoke about her father finding solace on the set of The Andy Griffith Show. The sitcom became a happy escape for Knotts. He found comfort in acting, and would come home and continue his work by practicing his lines.
“We didn’t see him a lot, because he worked 10, 12 hours a day,” Karen explained. “And when he was home, he was always holed up in his room working on his lines and stuff like that. At that time, we kids were pretty young, and he confided whatever he was feeling about working on the show to my mom.”
Although Don Knotts stayed busy with work, he’d often find ways to be present and spend time with his kids. Sometimes he’d bring his children to work. While other times he’d have them help him run his lines.
“I remember watching and listening to him rehearse. He asked me to run lines,” she recalled. “At the time, I already knew I wanted to act, so I would try to act it out and he’d say, ‘No, no, no. Just give me the lines straight, no inflection, nothing, otherwise you throw me off.’ I was just part of that process.”