Source: The Corydon Democrat

Corydon fit to be 'Tied Up in Knotts'
Don Knotts' daughter to perform Nov. 1

by Ross Schulz

October 22, 2013

There will be an opportunity next month to connect with one of television’s most popular characters, Barney Fife from “The Andy Griffith Show,” played by Don Knotts.

Knotts died in 2006, but his daughter, Karen, an actress, is now touring the country performing her show, “Tied Up in Knotts,” as a loving tribute to her father and family.

The show will be Friday, Nov. 1, at 7 p.m. in the Corydon Central High School auditorium (doors will open at 5:30 p.m. and a pre-show will begin at 6).

“Growing up with Dad was amazing; he wasn’t the conventional father,” Knotts said. “I felt like we were buddies, most of the time. He had a way of surprising me. One day on my birthday, I was about 8, he came home and he was holding something behind his back. He said, ‘I have a present for you, sweetheart.’ My excitement was building ... and he handed me an autographed picture of himself. That was his humor.”

Knotts said the show, which will run about 90 minutes, will include memories and insights into the comedy genius who was her father.

“We had a very close relationship, and I absorbed a lot from him,” Knotts said. “I tell stories about what it was like for me as a kid to visit the set of ‘The Andy Griffith Show,’ like seeing the real Aunt Bea; she was smoking a cigarette.”

Knotts said she has plenty of funny stories about Griffith.

And as for Ron Howard (who played Opie), who is the same age as Knotts, she said he seemed like a prince because he had his own schoolhouse on the set and a private teacher.

“It was amazing to see downtown Mayberry but, when I walked into a building, there was nothing there, just fake fronts with window dressing,” she said.

Knotts said the show will also talk about what it was like for her father breaking into show business in New York in the early 1950s, the days of live television.

“When Dad first got to New York and started auditioning, no one could understand him, thanks to his heavy West Virginia accent,” she said. “The second time he went to New York was a whole different story. He started connecting on radio, gaining national recognition for his amazing voice and this led to a role on television playing a mute in the soap opera ‘Search for Tomorrow’.”

Knotts said her father loved to take the family to fancy restaurants in hopes of running into movie stars.

“But he also hoped they’d recognize him because he was star-struck himself and too shy to approach them,” she said. “Dad was a sweet, kind, loving guy who loved people.”

Knotts developed the show as a way to stay close to her father and remember the stories he told her.

“It’s a thrill to perform the show, and it’s constantly evolving,”she said.

This will be her first time performing “Tied Up in Knotts” in Indiana, and she said she’s excited to come to Corydon.

Knotts learned her craft at the University of Southern California where she was directed by Emmy award-winning director Alex Siegal. Siegal directed “Diary of Ann Frank.” After graduation, Knotts performed in Equity regional theatres across the country with her father. She also broke into television with many roles, including one as a former high school beauty queen in “Return to Mayberry.”

Hosted by the Historical Society of Harrison County, the show is a fundraiser for the March to the Museum movement.

Society president Karen Schwartz said it is an important fundraiser to help achieve the goal of having a Harrison County museum by 2016 for Indiana’s bicentennial.

“Tied Up in Knotts is selling out wherever Karen Knotts performs, so I truly hope people will turn out and give her a big Harrison County welcome,” Schwartz said.

Tickets are $20 each and can be purchased at the Blaine H. Wiseman Visitor Center in downtown Corydon (cash or check only) or online at www.brownpapertickets.com/.