This ‘Andy Griffith Show’ Actor Would Rehearse His Lines Like 30 Times

The Andy Griffith Show’s cast included legends like Griffith, Jim Nabors, Ron Howard, and Don Knotts. One of the members of the show’s main cast would practice his lines dozens of times trying to learn them. Here’s a look at how dedicated this actor was to learning his lines — and how his work impacted his personal life.

Andy Griffith, Don Knotts, and Jim Nabors in chairs
Andy Griffith, Don Knotts, and Jim Nabors | CBS via Getty Images

Andy Griffith’s favorite Barney Fife moment from ‘The Andy Griffith Show’

According to CNN, Knotts passed away in 2006. Afterward, a handful of people close to Knotts went on Larry King Live to discuss his life and legacy — specifically, Griffith, Howard, and Nabors from The Andy Griffith Show, Knott’s daughter, Karen, and Joyce DeWitt from Three’s Company. In the interview, Griffith mentioned his favorite Knotts moment from The Andy Griffith Show.

Griffith really enjoyed the time barney Fife tried to recite the Preamble to the United States Constitution. Fife says he never forgets anything and claimed he could still say the Preamble long after learning it in school. Afterward, he is unable to recite much of the Preamble. The joke is an example of the simple, wholesome humor which became the trademark of The Andy Griffith Show.

The Andy Griffith Theme

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How Don Knotts would memorize his lines

Griffith said Knotts had his lines “down.” Karen concurred. “In fact, I remember one of my fondest memories was on Sunday was the day that he would learn his lines for the new show and he would lock himself in that bedroom,” Karen said. “And, I used to sit outside the bedroom door and listen while he — he would take every line Barney had and practice it in probably I would say about 30 different ways, different inflection, just subtle inflections, one line, one word, up inflected, then the next word down inflected.”

She added “And until he found the way that he wanted to read that line and then he would — once he had the way he wanted it, he would just repeat it over and over and over until it became locked in and then he would put it together with the other lines. It was like a concert pianist learning a new piece and it was just fantastic to hear how he would work so hard at that.”

Don Knotts in a spacecraft
Don Knotts | Silver Screen Collection/Getty Images

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In a separate interview with Closer Weekly, Karen revealed more about her father’s dedication to his role. She said after Knotts landed the role of Barney in The Andy Griffith Show, he would spend 10 to 12 hours per day working. At home, Knotts spent most of his time in the bathroom working on his lines.

Because his children were so young, Knotts only confided his feelings about The Andy Griffith Show to his wife. Sometimes, however, Knotts would ask his daughter to help him with his lines. Knotts garnered so much acclaim for playing Barney — which made sense since he certainly took his job seriously.