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Daughter of Don Knotts Pays Tribute To Her Father

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MORGANTOWN -

Morgantown native Don Knotts left his lifelong mark on anyone who saw at least 5 minutes of his work.

His daughter, Karen, is paying tribute to him with her traveling comedy Tied up in Knotts and brought the show to Morgantown's Metropolitan Theatre Friday night.

"We were very close, we talked about everything, he wasn't the typical father who'd give out advice and all that stuff," Karen Knotts said. "He's more like a friend."

The faces Don Knotts wore dazzled audiences with comedy and grace.

Nobody saw the real Don Knotts, a single dad at home, and the roles he performed without scripts better than his daughter Karen.

"I was trying to be popular, I was going through that whole thing of, ‘how do I be popular?' " Karen Knotts said, "and he would call his girlfriends, because he had a lot girls that were different friends and say ‘what do I do, what do I do my for my daughter?' and they would give him advice. And during those years I had like all these different women that would befriend me and stuff."

Growing up with a celebrity dad, Karen learned comedy and acting from one of the best in the business. It was no surprise that she, too, is now chasing the same dream her father once had.

"It wasn't like a choice I made that I was going to follow my dad's footsteps," Karen Knotts said. "It was more like this is what I wanted to do. It wasn't anything that took a lot of deciding, should I or shouldn't I."

Whether it was on TV, the radio, or the big screen, Don Knotts wore more hats and played more roles than one could count.

But his portrayal of Deputy Barney Fife on The Andy Griffith Show won the hearts of many fans.

"He was so unique, so entertaining." said Janice Robinson, a Don Knotts fan and audience member of the show on Friday. "My favorite episode he was trying to recite the declaration of Independence. Andy tells him word for word what it is, and it doesn't faze him, he thinks he's done it by himself."

The role Karen will remember most is not of Barney Fife, from one his variety shows, or any of his five Emmy winning parts; it's the loving, caring father he always was.

"When I went to college at USC, I was trying to get into the sorority, and I was trying to be independent and everything, and my father was following me in his car. I was trying to be independent, and there he was sneaking along in his car to make sure I was going to be ok," Karen Knotts said.

Proceeds from Friday's show went towards the construction of a Don Knotts Statue to be placed in Morgantown.

The Morgantown Museum will also have a Don Knotts display throughout the month.