Andy Griffith Flew to His Co-Star Don Knotts’ Side When He Died

by Jeremy Spirogis
Don Knotts and Andy Griffith, 1965
Don Knotts and Andy Griffith, 1965
Don Knotts and Andy Griffith, 1965 | CBS Photo Archive/Archive Photos/Getty Images

One of the explanations traditional comedy sequence The Andy Griffith Show was so successful was due to the chemistry between its co-stars, Andy Griffith and Don Knotts.

The two actors weren’t solely colleagues; they had been additionally expensive associates.

When Don Knotts died in 2006, Andy Griffith put all else apart to be along with his sidekick.

Don Knotts invited himself to ‘The Andy Griffith Show’

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While watching tv with associates, Knotts noticed his previous Broadway co-star Andy Griffith on the pilot episode for what would turn out to be The Andy Griffith Show. It came about on The Danny Thomas Show. Out of labor, Knotts rapidly obtained in contact with Griffith to supply his providers because the present’s deputy sheriff.

Andy and Don: The Making of a Friendship and a Classic American TV Show by Daniel de Visé states that Griffith’s response was a optimistic one: “Lord! Call [show producer] Sheldon Leonard.”

“There was no formal audition,” de Visé wrote. “Sheldon dismissed Don coolly, telling the fretful actor that his idea ‘would be taken under advisement.’ He kept Don waiting for three agonizing weeks.”

Once the comedian second banana was lastly employed for the present, he knew he’d made the suitable choice.

De Visé writes, “I had a good feeling about this,” Knotts recalled. “I had a real good feeling, even before it started.”

The 2 males had been one another’s greatest supporters

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RELATED: ‘The Andy Griffith Show’: Why Andy Griffith Ended Up Leaving His Own Show

From the beginning of their working relationship, Griffith and Knotts had each other’s backs. In reality, Griffith was presupposed to be the comedian character on the sitcom. Once he noticed how humorous Knotts actually was, he knew he needed to step again and “play it straight.”

Knotts’ daughter Karen, a comic in her personal proper, spoke in regards to the mutual help between the 2 actors in a 2018 interview.

“[Andy Griffith] was very friendly to me; he was like an uncle,” she mentioned. “He had totally different sides. You might see that generally he can be intense and different occasions very, very heat and endearing.

One factor I’ll let you know, and one factor that’s totally different from what has been written in books, was that Andy was by no means jealous of my dad. He was his greatest fan and mentor. Everything later he was in, he wished to get my dad in, too. He was in my dad’s nook.”

Griffith was at Don Knotts’ aspect at his 2006 loss of life

Andy Griffith and Don Knotts in a scene from 'The Andy Griffith Show'Andy Griffith and Don Knotts in a scene from 'The Andy Griffith Show'
Andy Griffith and Don Knotts in a scene from ‘The Andy Griffith Show’ | CBS Photo Archive/Getty Images

In 2006, Knotts died of problems from lung most cancers. His household was by his aspect, as was his previous comedy pal, Andy Griffith.

Griffith advised present host Larry King at the moment, “He died at eleven o’clock. I believe that’s right. I was with him until 6:00 or 6:30 I guess and he couldn’t respond but I did — I was able to tell him I loved him and I asked him to ‘Breathe, breathe, keep breathing Jess.’ His name was Jesse and he never liked that name but he let me know it one time and I always called him Jess.”

Knotts’ coronary heart had stopped that night within the ambulance that took him to the hospital; paramedics revived him on the way in which. King requested Griffith if it was clear his previous friend didn’t have for much longer to dwell.

“We were there and they were very nice to us at UCLA and we were down in the emergency room and we were near enough we heard the doctor tell Don’s wife that his heart had stopped in the ambulance and they had brought him back,” Griffith mentioned. “But, yes, we knew.”

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