Happy Birthday, Don Knotts!

Celebrating the Life of a Local Legend

A statue of Don Knotts sits on High Street in Morgantown, W.Va., date not known. Sculptor Jamie Lester created the statue. Knotts, a Morgantown native who died in 2006, is best known as the actor who portrayed Deputy Barney Fife on “The Andy Griffith Show” during the 1960s, a role in which he won five Emmy awards, but this is not a statue of the hilarious deputy. It depicts the man, Don Knotts.

If you watched The Andy Griffith Show, you may be able to whistle the entire theme song. You may also be familiar with the man who portrayed Barney Fife, better known as “Don Knotts.” However, if you’re from Morgantown, West Virginia, you may know him to be a native.

That’s right! The world may know him for his role on the 1960s sitcom that earned him five Emmy Awards, and other recognizable characters and accomplishments such as starring in The Ghost and Mr. Chicken, The Incredible Mr. Limpet, and Three’s Company. Knotts may have a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame, but we Morgantown residents know him a little differently.

Born in the heart of Mountaineer Nation, Knotts grew up in a boarding house that was owned and operated by his mother. He attended Morgantown High School and then enlisted in the Army serving in WWII. After the War, Knotts returned to Morgantown and in 1948, earned a bachelor’s degree in education with a minor in speech from West Virginia University. As a student, he was a member of Phi Sigma Kappa fraternity and Alpha Psi Omega Honor Society.

So how can you remember Knotts and celebrate what would have been his 99th birthday today?

Take a drive down Don Knotts Boulevard (officially named in 1998) and visit his statue that was added in front of the Metropolitan Theatre on High Street. Knotts’ statue features two accessories in his left and right hand which represents both his TV work and his film work. His right hand holds a deputy hat that he wore in The Andy Griffith Show and his left hand holds a prop that is a symbol for the script of The Ghost and Mr. Chicken.

Not only is Knotts’ statue an attraction for downtown Morgantown, but it’s a piece of history that will last well into the future.

Interested in seeing Knotts’ statue and other statues in the area? Use our booking tool to reserve a room today and start planning your trip to Greater Morgantown!

Interested in attending more than one event this weekend? Stay overnight at one of the many hotels and lodgings in Morgantown. Click to reserve your stay.