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West Virginia's Historic People

Important People

Jesse Donald "Don" Knotts

Don Knotts

Barney Fife, Andy Griffith Show

Jesse Donald “Don” Knotts (1924-2006) was a television and movie actor and was born in Morgantown, where his parents and relatives were farmers. He was the youngest of four boys in a family he described as “dirt poor.” Knotts said, "It was the 1930s, and those were tough times for all of us, but we had such humor in our family – except for my father. He was pretty sick. He had a nervous breakdown about the time I was born – maybe I did it – but all my brothers were very funny, and my mother loved to laugh."

Knotts graduated from Morgantown High School in 1942. Following graduation, he enlisted in the U.S. Army to serve in WWII. After the war, he attended West Virginia University, where he majored in speech, hoping to become a teacher. Knotts chose to pursue acting instead, and is best known for playing the role of Barney Fife on the Andy Griffith Show. A street in Morgantown has been renamed Don Knotts Boulevard.

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e-West Virginia Don Knotts

Museum Hours of Operation

Operating Hours:

Tuesday through Saturday

9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.

***Closed Sundays and Mondays***

Closed all National Holidays except Memorial Day weekend

Admission is free

For more information call: (304) 558-0220