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Sunday, July 16, 2006
Don Knotts' widow not keen on statue

An unfinished statue of Barney Fife apparently won't be heading to Don Knotts' hometown after all.

Knotts' widow endorses the idea of a statue, but says that it should be of her husband, not of the bumbling deputy that he made famous on The Andy Griffith Show. Knotts died in February at the age of 81.

In an e-mail sent to The Dominion Post of Morgantown, Francey Knotts and Andy Griffith wrote that any memorial to Knotts should be in Morgantown, rather than Mount Airy, Griffith's hometown. The North Carolina town was used as the model for the fictional town of Mayberry.

"We consider the dissemination of his image to be a big responsibility that we take very seriously. No one cares more about Don's image than we do," the two wrote.

"It would be wonderful to have a statue in Morgantown, W.Va., of Don Knotts as Don Knotts.

"But this particular image (of Knotts as Fife) does not fit with our understanding of Don's experience growing up in Morgantown."



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