Don Knotts said that most child actors were ''a pain in the neck''

He held Ron Howard in high esteem, though.

CBS Television Distribution

Barney Fife is a good guy and all, but you wouldn't exactly pick him to babysit. Can you picture him trying not to drop an infant? It's hilarious and dangerous.

Don Knotts was undoubtedly one of the most important faces on the Andy Griffith Show set. He was paramount to the program's quality; Andy Griffith quickly dipped in critical consensus when Barney left. But he was also crucial to morale on the set. Imagine having Don Knotts as a coworker. It's almost as fun to picture that as it is to picture him trying not to fumble a baby.

Anyway, Don Knotts had a lot of great things to say about working with Ron Howard, but he didn't have anything nice to say about child actors as a whole. 

"Ron [Howard] was the best-behaved child actor I ever worked with," Knotts wrote in his 1999 memoir Barney Fife and Other Characters I Have Known.

Knotts goes on to praise Howard's professionalism on the show, attributing his success to Ron's dad, Rance Howard. 

"Rance and Ron obviously had a wonderful father-son relationship. When [Ron] was working, he was right there diligent and concentrated. When he wasn't on-camera, you didn't even know he was around."

However, Knotts felt his young co-star was the exception to the rule.

"Most kid actors, quite frankly, are a pain in the neck." 

Unfortunately for Knotts, many of his post-Andy Griffith Show roles were in family movies, where younger child actors surrounded him. 

But Ron Howard was different.

"He is, incidentally, every bit as nice a man as he was a little boy. And that's no surprise either," Knotts wrote.

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2 Comments

FrankensteinLover 1 month ago
Thats awesome they all minus Bee, had such great chemistry and everyone that I've seen said of all they in there career the andy griffith show was the most fun they had on set.
justjeff 1 month ago
Don reminded me of W.C. Fields who said something to the effect of: "Anyone who hates kids and dogs can't be all bad"...
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