Eighty-one-year-old actor Don Knotts died Friday in California, he had a Calhoun connection.

The immortal "Barney Fife" was a cousin to the Knotts family of Calhoun. The Knotts' have one of the best documented genealogies in the county.

Knotts won five Emmy's for playing the bumbling deputy on "The Andy Griffith Show," and is being remembered by his friend and co-star Andy Griffith as a comedic genius who wrote some of the show's best scenes.

Knotts was born in Morgantown, West Virginia to Elsie L. Moore and William Jesse Knotts. He served in World War II as an entertainer and received the World War II Victory Medal. Knotts graduated from West Virginia University in 1948 with a degree in theater.

Monongalia County Commissioner John Pyles says Knotts had a place in his heart for his hometown and never forgot where he came from.

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