Don Knotts Net Worth

How much was Don Knotts worth?

Net Worth:$14 Million
Profession:Professional Actor
Date of Birth:July 21, 1924 (aged 81)
Country:United States of America
5 ft 6 in (1.69 m)

About Don Knotts

Don Knotts was an American actor, comedian, and voice actor. He started his career in the early 1950s and rose to prominence a decade later with his role in The Andy Griffith Show. Thanks to his incredible performance, Don won many awards including five Emmy Awards. He then starred in many 20th century classics such as The Ghost and The Chicken, The Incredible Mister Limpet, and Herbie Goes to the Monte Carlo, among many others.

He was born on July 21, 1924, in Morgantown, West Virginia. He has three brothers (Ralph, William, and Willis) and is of English ancestry. His paternal ancestors emigrated from the United Kingdom to Maryland in the 17th century. He addended the Morgantown High School and shortly after his graduation enlisted in the United States Army.

After serving in the World War II, Donald returned to West Virginia and attended the West Virginia University. In 1948, he earned his bachelor’s degree in education and minor in speech. In 1950, he became interested in working as a comedian and ventriloquist at various schools and churches. One of his early and notable acts as a ventriloquist was in Stars and Gripes. Simultaneously with that, he began doing stand-up comedy in clubs and eventually joined the radio program Bobby Benson and his B-Bar-B Riders.

American actor, voice actor and comedian Don Knotts had an estimated net worth of $14 million dollars at the time of his death, in 2006. He’s best known for his role as Deputy Sheriff Barney Fife on, The Andy Griffith Show.

In 1953, the actor landed a role in the soap opera Search for Tomorrow. He remained on the show until 1955 and earned an estimated $10,000 in total, or about $110,000 today. After his exit from the soap opera, he joined the cast of The Steve Allen Show. From 1956 to 1960, Knotts spent four years on the show and earned an estimated $50,000 from his many appearances. That’s about $500,000 in 2022 dollars after adjusting for inflation.

In 1958, he made his film debut in No Time for Sergeants. Starting the 1960s, he starred in many different films, with his most notable roles being in Wake Me When It’s Over, The Last Time I Saw Archie, The Incredible Mr. Limpet, The Ghost and Mr. Chicken, and The Reluctant Astronaut.

Concurrently with these, he continued to take part in television series such as The Andy Griffith Show, The Red Skelton Show, and The New Steve Mcallen Show to name a few. Knotts earned $1,250 an episode, or about $35,000 a year for his work on The Andy Griffith Show. Which is about $330,000 dollars today in 2022.

Throughout the last years of the century, the actor and comedian continued to star in various projects. His most critically acclaimed roles from that time are in the projects The Private Eyes, Big Bully, Quints, The Captain and Tenille Show, Three’s Company, and Step By Step. In 2003, in one of his final works ever, Knotts joined the animation videos Hermie and Friends where he played the main role of Wormie.

In the early 2000s, he began appearing sporadically on Cartoon Network productions and also appeared in the video game Scooby-Doo’s Night of 100 Frights. His final television roles were in That 70s Show and Las Vegas from 2005. His overall final role came in the 2006 comedy Air Buddies.

Knotts’ Net Worth

Don Knotts earned the vast majority of his money from his roles on TV. One of the reasons why he was so popular through the decades was because Knotts made many appearances as himself, adding to his fame and popularity which transferred onto the shows that he was appearing in. Most TV series like to cast actors who are also skilled at doing interviews and other television bits, which is exactly what they got with Knotts. From his appearances on TV it is estimated that Knotts may have earned $7-10 million, not including his appearances as himself but including his later appearances that paid him more.

Kotts’ appearances as himself would have not paid much, however the TV series that he was part of would have stipulated a certain amount of these such appearances as promotion efforts. It is still estimated that he may have earned $1-2 million over his fifty year career from his appearances as himself. His appearances in films were few comparative to his work on TV, however, he appeared in films like The Private Eyes and lent his voice to TV movies like Jingle Bells. After around 25 appearances he earned a likely $5-6 million.

In total, that puts Don Knotts earnings for his appearances at about $15.5 million dollars. Of that amount, $1-2 million is expected to have been paid in business related costs. The remainder, $14 million, will have been taxed at around 50% as Knotts resided in the state of California and earned at a time when federal income taxes were high. After tax, it is estimated that his career earnings were around $7 million dollars, having paid the same amount in taxes.

Don Knotts married three women in his lifetime, divorced two and his last wife Frances Yarborough was with him until his death in 2006. His other two wives, Loralee Czuchna and Kathryn Metz may have been paid in total between both of them $1 million dollars in divorce settlements, spousal support and child support. Kathryn Metz was also mother to his two children, Karen and Thomas Knotts.

While Don Knotts’ earnings are very low compared to the TV stars and comedians of today. They were incredibly high compared to average American citizens, especially in the 60s and the 70s. As the dollar was worth so much more than it is today, but was likewise depreciating through inflation, Knotts will have likely been investing his money, even before the 80s.

The mid 1980s saw the US stock market growing at a steady pace which picked up dramatically in the mid 1990s. After a slump in the early 2000s, by the year of his death in 2006 the market had made a complete recovery.

In his personal life Knotts likely spent $2-3 million dollars of his career earnings but also probably possessed assets valued at around $1-2 million, not including investment assets. In his investments, he may have earned investment returns of $8-10 million dollars. Therefore, it is estimated that Don Knotts has a net worth of around $14 million dollars.


Don Knotts first started his acclaimed acting career in the 1950s and, just a few decades later, he established himself as an actor. In addition to multiple Emmy Awards, the actor was included in many lists that highlight the greatest television stars of all time. In 2000, towards the end of his career, the television star was awarded a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame.

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