The Andy Griffith Show star Don Knotts actually went to high school with another kid with the same name. The actor, who played Barney Fife on the iconic show, hails from West Virginia.
According to MeTV, the fact that Don Knotts went to the same high school as another Don Knotts caused some major confusion. One US veteran named J.S from Idaho Falls wrote a Hollywood Gossip Columnist, Dick Kleiner, about it.
“Dear Dick: Can you tell me if Don Knotts of TV and movie fame is the same Don Knotts I served with back in the Navy in ’43. We were at Kiska in the Aleutians. This Don Knotts was from Morgantown, W.V,” the person wrote. The weird thing was, The Andy Griffith Show actor was actually from Morgantown, but it wasn’t possible that it was him. Don Knotts the actor didn’t serve in the Navy, but in the army.
Thankfully, the other Don Knotts got a hold of the gossip column and wrote up Dick Kleiner.
“I am the Don Knotts who served in the Navy in ’43 in the Aleutians. And, curiously, I went through high school with the other Don Knotts in Morgantown, W. Va.. Everyone called him ‘Little Don’ and me ‘Big Don.’ Thought you’d like to know,” he wrote.
“I wish you let me — and the rest of us — know if you and ‘Little Don’ were related,” Kleiner joked in response. While its unclear if he got an answer, it’s a safe bet to say the two aren’t related.
Don is quite the common first name, but Knotts certainly isn’t the most common last name. It’s quite the wild coincidence that two people named Don Knotts wound up going to the same high school.
Knotts Shot to Fame on ‘The Andy Griffith Show’
It seems like a long journey from “Little Don” to one of the most influential comedic voices of his era, but that’s exactly what happened to Don Knotts. His role as the awkward, confused deputy on The Andy Griffith Show immediately won over fans. During his time on the show, Knotts won five Emmy awards.
He also helped behind the scenes occasionally. He played a major role in constructing his iconic pre-amble scene and had a role in the creative process of the show. The Andy Griffith Show would be nothing without its bumbling yet still endearing deputy, and Don Knotts made sure to make his mark on the show and its legacy.
Following his time on The Andy Griffith Show, Knotts went on to star in a bunch of other sitcoms. Knotts passed away in 2006. There’s no info on what “Big Don” ended up doing after high school, but needless to say, he lived a bit more of a private life.