Don Knotts (1924-2006) was a famous American comedian who won the hearts of audiences everywhere.
He is best known for his role as Sheriff Barney Fife on the Andy Griffith Show. He also played Ralph Furley on the popular 1980’s sitcom, Three’s Company.
While the comedian led a rich life entertaining others, he also had a lively romantic history and was married three times.
His friend Al Checco had this to say about Knotts, “He was somewhat of a ladies’ man. He fancied himself somewhat of a Frank Sinatra. The ladies loved him, and he dated quite a bit.”
This article will provide information on the women that called themselves Don Knott’s spouses.
Spouse 1: Kathryn Metz
Kathryn Metz was born in 1932 in West Virginia and died in 2018 while trying to recover from an open-heart surgery.
Kathryn and Don dated for two years before getting married at Metz’s father’s church in 1947. They had one daughter, Karen Knotts. She was born in 1954.
Like her father, she is also a comedic actress as well as a standup comedian. She has also written and acted in several plays including her Merce Awards nominated play Roger and Betsy.
Kathryn and Don also have a son, Thomas Knotts. Very little is known about him.
The couple divorced in 1964 after 17 years of marriage.
Spouse 2: Loralee Czuchna
After Don divorced Metz, he remained single for 10 years. Then he met his second wife Loralee Czuchna.
Czuchna is an American actress. Little is known about her other than that she married Knotts in 1974 and divorced him in 1983 after about 7 years of marriage.
She is a striking blonde and looks to be quite a bit younger than Knotts. The couple did not have children.
It is suspected that the Don and Loralee split up due to Knotts’ preoccupation with his health. Reportedly, the strain was too much for Loralee to handle and it eventually led to their divorce.
Spouse 3: Frances Yarborough
Frances Yarborough was born in the 60’s. She is the daughter of Donald Howard Yarborough, a liberal Democrat who ran for Governor in 1962. He was also in the Marine Corps and served as a company commander in China in World War II.
While Frances’s profession is currently listed as American Executive Secretary, she had a short-lived career as an actress. She appeared in a few films. If you look on her IMDb, you will see her credited with only one film, a 1976 crime drama called “The Electric Chair”. She also appeared in one of Don Knott’s plays.
Frances was working as a production assistant on Don’s syndication comedy starting in 1987. The show abruptly ended some time later. It was around the end of the show that the two met. They tied the knot in 2002.
Knotts described Frances in his book ‘Andy and Don: The Making of a Friendship and a Classic American TV Show’ calling her, “a beautiful, kind-hearted actress who had settled in Hollywood to pursue improvisational comedy.”
Yarborough also recalled the early days of their relationship saying, “I was living a goofy life and so was he. We would just talk and talk and talk. He loved hearing stories about my family. He had a crazy family, I had a crazy family. He liked he nuances of people.”
Frances helped Don Knotts learn his lines. She also helped him through a difficult time as Knotts was drinking and smoking when they met. Soon after he met Yarborough, he began to wheeze. He abruptly quit smoking and never looked back.
The aspiring actress stayed with Don until his death in 2006. He died from cancer and was also suffering with severe hypochondria and macular degeneration. During the time, they were living in his Los Angeles home.
The couple did not tell anyone Don was dying, not even his closest colleagues or his children.
Don was worth about $20 million at the time of his death. It is unclear how much of that Frances inherited but it is expected that quite a bit was passed on to her.
The two were married for about four years and did not have any children.