Media News : Who Was Older — Don Knotts or Andy Griffith? .

Andy Griffith and Don Knotts worked together as Andy Taylor and Barney Fife on The Andy Griffith Show. As their chemistry suggested, the two were the best of friends in real life. But who was older between the two famous comedic actors?

Don Knotts was two years older than Andy Griffth

Knotts was born on July 21, 1924 in Morgantown, West Virginia. He had a trying childhood, born to William Jesse Knotts and Elsie L. Moore-Knotts. Knotts’ mother had him when she was 40. His father had schizophrenia and alcoholism, and was reportedly violent towards his son. The actor’s older brother, William, also suffered from alcoholism and tormented Knotts. The actor thought of show business as his way out of a hard life. Though even after he got famous, Knotts struggled with his mental health. He was depressed and went to therapy for years. Eventually, he found a psychiatrist named Duke Renniker who was able to really help him.    

Griffith was born two years later on June 1, 1926 in Mount Airy, North Carolina. Like his co-star and friend Knotts, he also had a difficult childhood. Griffith’s family was so poor that he had to sleep in a dresser drawer as a toddler because there wasn’t money for a bed. When he started going to school, Griffith was bullied for being poor and a mama’s boy. He, too, found comfort in the theater arts. And just like Knotts, Griffith dealt with emotional issues as an adult. Griffith was said to have an explosive temper and issues with alcohol. 

It’s no wonder the actors were drawn to each other when they met working on the broadway show No Time for Sergeants. They had a lot in common. 

Don Knotts and Andy Griffith met when they were 31 and 29, respectively


Did Andy Griffith and Don Knotts Remain Friends After ‘The Andy Griffith Show’?

Knotts was 31 when he met Griffith, who was 29. The two met when they were working on the broadway show No Time for Sergeants in 1955. Immediately, they hit it off. Even so, the actors didn’t see each other for five years following the close of the show. But they connected again after Knotts saw his old friend’s appearance on The Danny Thomas Show. He started cooking up a plan to get the two working together again.  

“A part on Andy’s new show just might rekindle Don’s career—and revive his old friendship with Andy,” reads The Making of a Friendship and a Classic American TV Show by Daniel de Visé. “Don had always hoped he and Andy might work together again someday. Then, he placed a call to New York [and] told Andy how much he’d enjoyed the pilot. Then he asked, ‘Listen, don’t you think Sheriff Andy Taylor ought to have a deputy?’”

And the rest was history. 

When Don Knotts and Andy Griffith died

Knotts and Griffith were friends until the very end. Knotts died on Feb. 24, 2006 at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center in Los Angeles, California from pulmonary and respiratory complications as a result of lung cancer. Griffith was with him when he died. 

Griffith died on July 3, 2012 in Roanoke Island after suffering a heart attack.

“I cannot imagine life without Andy, but I take comfort and strength in God’s Grace and in the knowledge that Andy is at peace and with God,” his wife said in a statement shortly after his death. He was buried just hours after he died, per his wishes. He wanted to avoid a media frenzy.