Don Knotts’ daughter shares fond memories of her funny dad, including a touching story of when she had to bolt out of the room from beside his deathbed — and not for the reason you might expect!
Karen Knotts remembers her father, Don Knotts, as a loving dad.
"He didn't like to go out and do things like you picture most fathers going out and doing - you know, outdoorsy stuff - because he was a very internal kind of person. He liked to tell stories and talk," she said.
Sadly, in 2006, Don lost his battle with lung cancer. And I can only imagine what that moment must have been like for his family.
Don Knotts’ Daughter Recalls Laughter At His Deathbed
Don Knotts’ daughter, Karen, was saying goodbye to her father as Christ called him home. It was a moment of turmoil and a moment of joy. Don, who was known for making the world laugh, couldn't help but crack jokes in his last moments. After all, laughter is a gift. It gives us the ability to find joy and happiness in all ways of living life–even in our passing.
Karen had to explain.
"Here's the thing about my dad,” she commented, “He had this funniness that was just completely, insanely natural. When he was dying, he was making us laugh in hysterics. He was literally dying, but he did something or said something that caused my stepmother and I to go into fits of laughter, which is why I ran out. I thought to myself, ‘I don't want to be standing there in front of this man, my dearly beloved father, who's dying and laughing.’"
Later Don Knotts’ daughter recounted these precious last moments with a friend.
"I was telling this story to Howard Storm, who's a director, and he said, ‘You should have stayed and laughed out loud. That's what comedians live for!' He was right; I should have just stood there and blasted out laughing," she said.
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Howard was right, Don lived to make people laugh. Even as a child, he realized the gift of laughter which is how he channeled his talent into acting.
A Beloved TV Character
We fondly remember him as Barney Fife on The Andy Griffith Show and Ralph Furley on Three's Company despite his rough and abusive upbringing. He also battled depression and tried to make sense of the way he had grown up. Throughout it all, he realized that laughter was truly a precious gift.
The world lost a bright star, but heaven gained a comedic hero. While we all have felt his passing since 2006, we will have reruns of his shows, and his daughter is working on a father/daughter memoir that will highlight his struggles and triumphs in life and in television.
Karen shares one last thing about her beloved father and his role in the Andy Griffth show, "A lot of times people say to me, ‘Oh, your dad really made the show.' They don't realize what Andy was to the show. He was the backbone," she said.
WATCH: Don Knotts’ Daughter Shares Story From Her Dad’s Deathbed
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h/t: Closer Weekly
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