‘The Andy Griffith Show’: Don Knotts’ Father Regularly Threatened to Kill Him

by Jeremy Spirogis
Don Knotts and Andy Griffith

The Andy Griffith Show star Don Knotts was as soon as referred to as this system’s “heart and soul” by Griffith himself.

Knotts introduced his personal model of humor and slapstick to the basic comedy whereas Griffith maintained order within the fictional city of Mayberry.

Life wasn’t all the time lighthearted for the second banana, whose childhood was marked by an abusive guardian and sickness.

Don Knotts and Andy Griffith
Don Knotts and Andy Griffith | Silver Screen Collection/Getty Images

Don Knotts was a sickly little one

According to Andy and Don: The Making of a Friendship and a Classic American TV Show creator Daniel de Visé, who was additionally Knotts’ brother-in-law, Knotts grew up a frail and incessantly in poor health little one.

De Visé described the comic as having “emerged from infancy with a skeletal frame and a disposition to illness.”

Knotts himself is quoted within the guide as having stated, “I did not come into the world with a great deal of promise. By the time I started grammar school, I was already stoop-shouldered, painfully thin, and forever throwing up due to a nervous stomach.”

Don Knotts and Andy GriffithDon Knotts and Andy Griffith
Don Knotts and Andy Griffith | CBS Photo Archive/Getty Images

Knotts’ troublesome childhood

The actor’s “nervous stomach” was possible partially resulting from his relationship together with his father, Jesse Knotts, who in line with de Visé, terrorized his whole household.

“He was twice confined in the state mental hospital after threatening [his wife] with a butcher knife,” he wrote. “Those stays brought Don moments of relative peace in the family home.”

De Visé quotes Knotts’ mom as having requested her son in his maturity, “Do you remember when you were in nappies, and your father used to hold a knife to your throat?”

It had been stated that Jesse, in line with de Visé, had at one level undergone an emotional breakdown but it surely was possible he was “an undiagnosed schizophrenic.”

Don Knotts as Deputy Barney FifeDon Knotts as Deputy Barney Fife
Don Knotts as Deputy Barney Fife | CBS Photo Archive/Getty Images

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Knotts’ father would threaten Don merely for strolling previous the place he’d been sleeping. He would “stumble through the house in search of his son,” de Visé stated.

“Jesse would pin Don against the wall, raise the knife to his throat, and terrorize the child with dark oaths: ‘I’ll kill you, you son of a b***h,” he reported.

After his father’s dying in 1937, Don “began to come into his own.”

When he lastly in 1960 was given the position of Deputy Barney Fife on the Griffith present, Knotts was delighted saying “I had a good feeling about this,” Knotts recalled. “I had a real good feeling, even before it started.”

Knotts discovered remedy helped him in maturity

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Therapy, it turned out, supplied the actor the reduction he wanted.

In the years after his father’s dying, Knotts developed insomnia, “phantom illnesses, and a crippling anxiety that would put him in bed for days before a performance.”

Thanks to his dedication to remedy, Knotts was in a position to as soon as once more sleep and deal with the conditions that at one time stuffed him with dread and worry.

How to get assist: In the U.S. and Canada, textual content the Crisis Text Line at 741741 to succeed in a disaster counselor for help.

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