Karen Knotts is an American comedic actress and stand-up comedian who is famous for being the daughter of ace Hollywood actor and comedian, Don Knotts. Her father is perhaps best known for his incredible performance as Deputy Sheriff Barney Fife on the 1960s sitcom, The Andy Griffith Show, a sitcom for which he received five Emmy Awards. Knotts’ fifty-three-year career has left a large shoe many believe his daughter tries to fill to this day. Following in her father’s footsteps, Karen Knotts has gone on to write and act several of her plays including her one-woman play Roger and Betsy which got nominated for the Merce Awards in 2009. This piece sheds some light on her life, career, and what she’s currently doing to keep her father’s legacy alive.
Who is Karen Knotts and What’s Her Age?
Karen Knotts was born Karen Ann Knotts in the United States, on April 2, 1954, to parents Don Knotts and Kathryn Metz. Her father is a renowned comedic actor, Jesse Donald Knotts, who starred in several comedic films in the ’60 and ‘70s. Some of them include The Ghost and Mr. Chicken (1966) and The Incredible Mr. Limpet (1964) and How to Frame a Figg (1971). Her mother, Kathryn Metz was also an actress, known for her roles in movies like Being… Neil Armstrong (2009) and Queen Crab (2015). However, Karen Knotts’ parents got a divorce in 1964, after seventeen years together. Karen was only ten at the time.
There are no details about where and with whom she and her brother, Thomas Knotts, spent their childhood. However, her interviews reveal that Karen was more fond of her father. Through her father’s last marriage, Karen became a stepdaughter to the actress, Frances Yarborough. Frances is best known for her role in the 1976 film, The Electric Chair and she died in October 2013, seven years after the demise of her husband.
Growing up, Karen wanted to be in the show business, just like her father. But her father would always object, stating that showbiz wasn’t a good life for a child. As she puts it, he would later have a change of mind when she got much older and supported her immensely in her comedic pursuit. She attended Beverly Hills High School, after which she went to the University of Southern California School of Cinematic Arts.
What Does Karen Do For a Living?
Fresh from college, Karen Knotts accompanied her father on road trips to the regional theatre. Some of the shows she participated in include Norman is that You? and Mind with the Dirty Man. She got her big break on national TV, acting as a limerick-reciting hippy on the miniseries titled One of Our Own alongside the ace actor George Peppard.
Over the course of her four-decade-long career, Knotts has worked as a stand-up comedian as well as an actress. She is best known for her works on Return to Mayberry (1986), Vice Academy 4 (1995), and Exorcism (2003), An Occurrence at Black Canyon (2004), and One of Our Own. In An Occurrence at Black Canyon, Karen Knotts appeared in a sword-fighting scene with Tim Weske.
Asides these, Knott has written several one-woman shows including Tied Up in Knotts; a story which chronicles her time and experience growing up with her legendary comedian father. Under the directorship of Andersen Gabrych, Knotts performed Tied Up in Knotts at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival in 2008. The show won critical acclaim from various fans and critics at the time. She also has a good number of television series and films to her credit.
Karen was also directed by Carroll O’Connor on one episode of the series, Archie Bunker’s Place. Some of her most recent endeavors include performing stand-up comedy at the Ice House, Flappers, and The Comedy Store and writing stage acts. Notably, one of her plays- a one-woman play titled Roger and Betsy got nominated for the Merce Awards in 2009. Additionally, Karen has written two other plays, Dates from Hell the Musical and a farce, But We Open Tonite. Today, she operates an eponymous website where subscribers get to receive monthly newsletters from her and where visitors can book her services.