‘The Andy Griffith Show’: An Off-Air Feud Led 1 Star To Quit the Series

On 3 October 1960, Andy Griffith Exhibition debuted on CBS. The show was another result of Danny Thomas show, but he soon enjoyed it. It ran for eight seasons, with 159 programs filmed in black and white and the final 90 in color. It became a iconic depiction of an elegant little town life.

But even in the happy town of Mayberry there was conflict behind the scenes at times. And for one actor, he took away the show well.

Happy Mayberry world

Andy Griffith, Ron Howard, and Frances Bavier from 'The Andy Griffith Show'
Andy Griffith, Ron Howard, and Frances Bavier from the ‘Andy Griffith Exhibition’ CBS through Getty Images

Andy Griffith Exhibition featuring Andy Griffith in the role of Andy Taylor, sheriff of the fictional small town of Mayberry, North Carolina. Sheriff Taylor was a widow, raising his son Opie (played by Ron Howard) with the help of his aunt Bee Taylor (Frances Bavier).

His side was Barney Fife, played by Don Knotts.

according to curriculum vitae, the show team seemed to enjoy their fans almost as much as the work. Griffith was a traitor who loved to tease his predators and make them laugh. He was notorious for waking up Knotts when he grabbed a lump, dropping a metal canister down on the floor.

The rest of the team returned jokingly, once he took one of Griffith’s moccasins and hid it, so he had to throw his character’s shoes home. They had the bronzed moccasin and gave it to him at the end of the season.

The throw was close, but there was one relationship that was special.

Andrew Griffith and Don Knotts

(LR) Don Knotts as Deputy Barney Fife looking left and Andy Griffith as Sheriff Andy Taylor looking at Knotts
(LR) Don Knotts as Deputy Barney Fife and Andy Griffith as Sheriff Andy Taylor CBS Photo Archive / Getty Images

When Knotts appeared for the first day of filming, he didn’t know if he would be in any of the following events. But Senior Producer Sheldon Leonard recognized chemistry between Knotts and Griffith, and by the end of the day, offered him a year – long contract. That was soon changed to a five-year contract, and Barney was officially a permanent part of the show.

Closer to each week reporting that the Knotts and Griffith had much in common, as they came from similar backgrounds to the South, and became close friends. In addition, Griffith was a huge fan of Knotts’ great comic talents.

“Andrew was the biggest audience in the world for Don,” said Howard, Griffith’s on-screen son. “Don was literally in tears once a week.”

But despite the pair’s friendship, Knotts ran into an affair with the unbearable party.

Contract differences became a problem

From left: Don Knotts and Andy Griffith of 'The Andy Griffith Show'
From left: Don Knotts and Andy Griffith of ‘The Andy Griffith Show’ | Silver Screen / Getty Images Collection

according to Fox, Griffith owned 50 percent of the show. This meant that he grabbed a lot of profits during his popular run on TV. Knots, on the other hand, only made salary. When his five-year contract expired he asked for a more lucrative property bet, but was denied. And so he decided it was time to move on.

Nevertheless, the relationship between the two stars remained strong. When Griffith took the lead Matlock, Knotts would show up guests from time to time, and enjoyed each other ‘s company as much as ever.

“He would draw his lines on the first or second catch, then make a little jig and make a joke,” recalled one of Griffith’s harmonies. “They fell into this habit of singing, laughing and telling jokes.”

Sadly, Knotts died of the seizure in 2006. Griffith was able to be by his side, and he said he got a chance to tell him he liked him. Six years later, Griffith died of a heart attack. But while the two talented actors are gone, their work is alive. Fans can still enjoy their friendship by watching them make each other laugh.

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