Don Knotts' acting career really brought so much joy to people all over the years from his days on Broadway to his memorable characters on the silver screen. When you watch reruns of his Emmy Award-winning role of Deputy Barney Fife on The Andy Griffith Show or the goofy landlord on Three's Company, it's hard to keep from smiling. Widely considered one of the greatest TV stars of all time and easily one of the busiest men in Hollywood, it took Knotts a few tries to find true love. But the third wife of Don Knotts proved to be exactly what he was looking for, regardless of how long it took them to find each other.
The West Virginia native's first marriage was to college sweetheart, Kathryn Metz, though they called it quits after 13 years of marriage. Their relationship resulted in two children, son Thomas Knotts, and daughter Karen Knotts. Karen even went on to pursue her own acting career and has become a comedian just like her father.
Nearly a decade later, Knotts tied the knot with second wife, Loralee Czuchna. During their marriage, there were rumblings that the actor was having a mental breakdown, but he really was struggling with a tough bout of depression. Being Don Knotts wife with the constant media coverage must have been incredibly challenging. Unfortunately, his depression allegedly made the couple draw apart. They decided to end their relationship in 1983.
It took the beloved actor many years before he met someone he decided to share his life with again. In 2002, Knotts and Frances Yarborough, an actress who had a small role in the 1976 film The Electric Chair, said "I do." Though he never had any children with his third wife, Yarborough became a stepmother to Knotts' two children. And of course, she got to be a happily married woman to one of the funniest guys out there. The couple stayed together until Knotts passed away in 2006 due to complications with lung cancer. At the time of his death, Yarborough inherited all of her husband's properties, which were estimated to be worth millions.
After he passed away, Yarborough released a statement paying homage to her late husband Don Knotts and his historic acting career.
"He saw poignancy in people's pride and pain, and he turned it into something endearing and hilarious."
We're glad that the lovable funny man was able to find happiness again later in life.