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Andy and Don: The Making of a Friendship and a Classic American TV Show

4.10  ·  Rating details ·  1,072 ratings  ·  209 reviews
A lively and revealing biography of Andy Griffith and Don Knotts, celebrating the powerful real-life friendship behind one of America's most iconic television programs.

Andy Griffith and Don Knotts met on Broadway in the 1950s. When Andy went to Hollywood to film a TV pilot about a small-town sheriff, Don called to ask if the sheriff could use a deputy. The comedic synergy
Hardcover, 320 pages
Published November 3rd 2015 by Simon Schuster
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4.10  · 
Rating details
 ·  1,072 ratings  ·  209 reviews

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J.K. Grice
Oct 04, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: bio-memoir
Along with MASH, THE ANDY GRIFFITH SHOW was my favorite TV program ever. I've seen every episode more times than I can count. ANDY AND DON is a fascinating look into the lives of the two iconic stars of that show. Don Knotts was a comic genius ahead of his time, and Andy Griffith played his straight man. They became a legendary team, and this is a wonderful look at their lives and careers, both individually and together. Very entertaining and sometimes surprising, ANDY AND DON is a must read for ...more
Sep 23, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: ebooks, netgalley
I grew up watching The Andy Griffith Show with my parents and I still watch it to this day. Something has to be said for a TV show that has never been off the air since its premiere. I believe the fascination is based on the down-home feel, those simpler days, and of course the comedic timing of Andy Griffith and Don Knotts.

If you have read any of my reviews before, you know that I like it when the book I am reading mentions a place I have been before or my home state of West Virginia. This book
Oct 28, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Now, in all honesty.. I've only seen The Andy Griffith Show a few times when I was younger and don't really remember it all too well. My dad was the one who was a big fan and he would watch it every time it would be airing on the TV.

He's not a reader but I know he would love the audio version of this.

Before anyone gets their underwear twisted, I do plan on re-visiting it one day, but it won't be anytime soon most likely... I'm way behind on the shows I do watch now (Part of the problem of being
Oct 11, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: favorites
My first 5 star rating of 2016!

Andy Griffith show has always been my favorite show. My favorite part is the relationship between the characters of Andy and Barney.

So when I saw this book I had to read it.

The book goes over the real life friendship between Andy Griffith and Don Knotts which lasted for 51 years. It shows how they first met and acted together in the broadway play No Time for Sergeants until the passing of Don Knotts. Andy was one of the last people at Don's bedside before he pass
Melissa ♥ Dog/Wolf Lover ♥ Martin

Well I just cried at the ending of this book.....

I used to watch The Andy Griffith Show as a kid all the way up into my adult years. I even saw an episode last week, which is kind of funny that I read the book right after :)

This book was written by Don Knott's brother-in-law and I think he did a really great job. There are so many things you find out about people that you never even knew. I would love to read a memoir or journal of each person I have ever kno
Jan 16, 2019 rated it it was amazing
If you are a TAGS fan, this is a must read.
Sep 03, 2017 rated it it was amazing
This is a must-read for anyone who is a fan of the Andy Griffith show. The book not only covers the lives of Andy and Barney, but many of the additional cast member- Opie, Aunt Bea, Goober, Gomer and many more. It is obvious that Daniel de Vise did a great deal of research and interviewed surviving members of the cast and their families. There are many photos included in the book.
Biblio Files (takingadayoff)
Jun 21, 2015 rated it really liked it
Sheriff Andy Taylor and Deputy Barney Fife were the best of friends on TV in the fictional world of Mayberry. In real life, Andy Griffith and Don Knotts were also great friends. Andy and Don is a dual biography of the two men, told by journalist Daniel de Vise, whose wife's sister was married to Don Knotts. As Knotts' brother-in-law, de Vise had a little extra access to Knotts and other actors in their circle, but only for a short time. Knotts died only four years after marrying his third wife, ...more
Oct 28, 2015 rated it really liked it
this book was written by Don Knott's brother-in-law. His third wife was sisters with the author's wife. This book is a nice dedication to Andy Griffith and Don Knotts. The book has chapters that takes turns writing about Andy and Don's life as Children. Both grew up poor. Don Knotts in West Virginia and Andy Griffith in North Carolina. it follows their lives until they meet and work together on Broadway in the play No Time for Sergeants. Andy was the star and Don had a small role. This was the b ...more
Jun 16, 2015 rated it really liked it
It was such a pleasure to read this biography of Andy Griffith and Don Knotts. It is also kind of shocking to think I was watching the Andy Griffith show about 50 years ago as a young child.

Andy Taylor and Barney Fife were cousins and best friends on the Andy Griffith show created in the 1960's. However, the audience may not have realized the actors Andy Griffith and Don Knotts truly admired each other and were close friends until Don passed away in 2006. This biography focuses on the relations
Feb 08, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: completed
Andy and Don is a wonderful book about two men who formed a lifelong bond over humor. They first met doing the stage play of "No Time for Sergeants" and enjoyed each other's company so much that they became fast friends. Andy had deep respect for Don's talents and never resented becoming a straight man to one of the funniest men working in Hollywood.

Both men raised in fundamental Christianity had a deep faith, but Don began to lose his as the years went by. They still enjoyed singing hymns, but
Brian Eshleman
Oct 01, 2015 rated it really liked it
Shelves: fcl
How does this get four stars when some highly regarded tomes get three? As Leo says on the west wing in defense of his capriciousness, I'm unpredictable. My standard is, does the author hit what he or she aims for, hold reader attention for as long as requested? He does.

He knows what his subject is and sticks to it. He knows his audience wants to reminisce about the show and wafts the whistling for us to do so. He also knows we want assurances, as Lincoln says in a story about a chess-playing ro
Feb 24, 2016 rated it liked it
Biographies of Andy Griffith and Don Knotts. Revealed strong friendship of the two.
a must for Mayberry fans.
Apr 23, 2017 rated it it was amazing
At the age of 17 when my mother told me Don Knotts had died, I cried. At the age of 28 as I sit here reading this book at the part where Don dies, I cried again. Nothing has changed. My love for Don Knotts and Andy Griffith will never change. This book opened my eyes even more to the true people that they actually were. These two men are legends that will never truly die. I want my daughter to grow up watching The Andy Griffith show just like I did as a child so that she can develop a true love ...more
Michael De
Jul 13, 2015 rated it really liked it
[Reviewed from an advance copy of the book.]

What American is there who hasn't seen THE ANDY GRIFFITH SHOW? TAGS (as the show's diehard fans call it) is an enduring piece of Americana, its two central characters – Sheriff Andy Taylor and Deputy Barney Fife – as indelible a pair as Don Quixote and Sancho Panza. While there have been a number of other books dealing with this television classic, ANDY AND DON is the surely first one to focus on the professional and personal relationship between Andy
Feb 15, 2016 rated it did not like it
In my mind I like to go to Mayberry. I want to set a spell on the porch with Aunt Bea, or on days when I'm a-feelin' a might feisty, maybe belt out a couple rounds of "Toot, Toot, Tootsie." So, I was very disappointed to learn that both Andy Griffith and Don Knotts were chain smoking, heavy drinking, foul-mouthed womanizers who committed serial adultery/fornication (and took younger, and younger wives as they aged) and that Andy beat his first wife and that Don was a God-hating apostate who lite ...more
When I look back on my childhood, many television programs immediately pop into my mind. Captain Kangaroo started the year I was born. I didn't really have Sesame Street, but I did have Romper Room.

As I grew into my preteens, shows like The Andy Griffith Show were very popular. The child of an alcoholic father, I watched young Opie and his interaction with his dad and wanted Andy Griffith to be my daddy too. Little did I know then that Andy Griffith was also fighting the demon alcohol in real li
Apr 12, 2016 rated it liked it
Any Griffith Show is my favorite TV show. I was expecting the book to be filled with "untold funny little tales behind the scenes" but it wasn't so. The author is a brother in law to Don Knotts. I will say that discovering Andy GRIFFITH isn't really like Andy TAYLOR almost made me want to stop reading this book. That proves how much I enjoy the show and how much I am fond of the characteristics of Andy TAYLOR. Having said that, this is a book you will have read it till the end to appreciate what ...more
Jul 11, 2016 rated it really liked it
This was a very heartwarming book about the beautiful friendship of 2 of America's TV icons. It was very interesting as well, looking closely at how Don and Andy were both similar and different to the characters they played on TV and in movies but how their friendship really anchored them no matter what was going on either in their professional careers or in their personal lives. Mayberry is truly a timeless place loved by many generations of fans. The fact that my 11 year old daughter loves The ...more
Nov 15, 2015 rated it it was amazing
I could not put this down. Loved the way the author crafted the lives of these two talented men. de Vise celebrates the strengths of both actors- and yet beautifully- without malice shares their insecurities throughout their careers. As an actor myself- I find comfort in reading about their anxieties and frustrations in looking for the next job and facing rejection. Both men took their early lives from humble Southern towns with them on their career path among the Northerners- and they made it p ...more
P.e. lolo
Jul 28, 2018 rated it it was amazing
A wonderful story about the friendship and the careers of Andy Griffith and Don Knotts. Both men grew up in the South and both had difficult childhoods. The author will take you through each one. He then shows you how they got into acting and how they made their way to Broadway where they would eventual meet. Eventually in a play and a movie that Andy Griffith would be known for titled “No time for Sergeants”, both the play and movie were successful. Andy would also have a few more top movies. D ...more
Patrick DiJusto
May 08, 2018 rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2018
Some takeaways:

- Andy Griffith had a temper and used to punch his fist through doors
- Don Knotts had a massive schlong and half the female population of Hollywood pursued him at one time or another.
- Andy was no slouch in that department either.
- Don Knotts truly was a nervous hypochondriac in real life
- Both men really were close friends, both before The Andy Griffith Show and after.
- Andy Griffith owned 58 acres of North Carolina shoreline he bought in 1956 for $30,000.
- Don Knotts didn't leav
Bethany Swafford
Oct 22, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: my-books
Two men from similar backgrounds cross paths in their pursuit for success. From that meeting they become friends for life despite the ups and downs of their respective careers.

I grew up watching The Andy Griffith Show, and the friendship between "Andy" and "Barney" was the best part. Deciding to pick up a book that talks about the friendship behind the scenes didn't take me more than a minute.

I enjoyed getting a glimpse into the early life of Andy Griffith and Don Knotts. Seeing the things they
Jul 21, 2018 rated it it was amazing
I hadn't watched The Andy Griffith Show for years but your book caught my eye and I found a station still showing it. I didn't realize Barney called Andy 'Ange' on the show. I'm now watching the show with new eyes. It was interesting that Andy Griffith and Don Knotts were friends in real life. There are no holds barred in this book. The author did an amazing job of research for this book. Interesting that we dont find out until the end of the book that he did have some 'ins' as he is the brother ...more
Jul 04, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: favorites
I grew up watching The Andy Griffith Show and am always fascinated with reading trivia and information about shows that I like, so this book immediately caught my attention. I was worried from some of the reviews that my view of the show would be tarnished; while Andy and Don weren't the squeaky clean people that the show made them out to be, the reviews are definitely exaggerated. The overarching theme is the friendship between Andy and Don and to me that stuck out over everything else. It made ...more
Aug 04, 2018 rated it really liked it
This book is well-written and, I think, an honest biography of the performing pair Andy Griffith and Don Knotts. I give it 4-1/2 stars.
The duo brought so much laughter in their roles on “The Andy Griffith Show” but now I understand the personal struggles that went on behind the scenes. This story can break your heart; the two had their serious faults. Yet, it is so rewarding to know of their deep and everlasting friendship. It evokes a new frame of mind as you watch them perform.
Mar 20, 2017 rated it really liked it
I feel like I fell into an Andy Griffith Zeitgeist at just the right time. The Andy Griffith show has always been a part of my life, playing on some tv screen nearby and the comfort it offers and warmth it gives is palpable. How fortunate to have such a book written that doesn't destroy the beauty of the show, but instead showcases the complexity of the two stars, the human struggles they faced in their careers, and the enduring friendship they had in real life that we are lucky enough to have c ...more
Sep 08, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Nice telling of Andy Griffith and Don Knotts early days, the height of their careers and later lives. If we had more shows like "The Andy Griffith Show" on television today, maybe there would be less "snowflakes" around.
Chris Cole
Jun 14, 2017 rated it it was amazing
I loved reading this book. It gave me the same sense of calm and nostalgia I still get from the show all these years later.
Newt Taylor
Jan 06, 2019 rated it really liked it
Daniel de Vise has given me a new appreciation for these 2 actors.
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Daniel de Visé is an author and journalist. A graduate of Wesleyan and Northwestern universities, he worked at the The Washington Post, the Miami Herald and three other newspapers in a 23-year career. He shared a 2001 Pulitzer Prize and garnered more than two dozen other national and regional journalism awards. His investigative reporting twice led to the release of wrongly convicted men from life ...more
“Andy and his manager, Dick Linke, set up a meeting with Abe Lastfogel at William Morris. Andy told him, “Mr. Lastfogel, I’ve struck out in movies and now on Broadway, and I don’t want to go back to nightclubs, so maybe I’d better try television.” Lastfogel went to see Sheldon Leonard, the powerful producer of television’s Danny Thomas Show. He asked if Sheldon knew of Andy. Sheldon replied, “Yeah, he did a record, a funny record.” Lastfogel said, “He’d like to do television. Can you think of something for him?” 0 likes
“The Andy Griffith Show was anachronistic. The denizens of Mayberry wore clothing of uncertain vintage and hair of indeterminate style and drove cars of unspecified age. Scant mention was made of current affairs or changing times. Telephone calls were placed through a human operator, and no one seemed to own a television set.” 0 likes
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