Frances Yarborough, a former actress turned executive secretary in the United States, has led a fascinating life. Her story became known far and wide when she married the late TV star Don Knotts. She holds the distinction of being his third wife.
Early Life and Family
Frances Yarborough was born in the 1960s to parents Donald Howard Yarborough and Charity O’Connell Yarborough. Her father, a prominent Texan Democrat who ran for governor in 1962, was not just a politician but also a Marine Corps officer who served in China after World War II. He was a dedicated lawyer, championing the rights of Mexican immigrants and African Americans while owning his law firm.
Frances Yarborough has a sister, Inez Vanderburg, and several half-siblings from her father’s previous relationships, including Leverett Yarborough, Danny Yarborough, Donald Arthur Yarborough, and Mollie O’Connell Yarborough. Her family’s history is rich and diverse, with her paternal grandfather even being the president of a bank during the Great Depression.
Frances Yarborough’ Career
While Frances briefly dabbled in acting with a single appearance in the 1976 film “The Electric Chair,” her professional life remains largely undisclosed. She was also a member of the Walhalla First Baptist Church. However, it was through her marriage to Don Knotts that she gained widespread recognition.
Don Knotts: A Comedy Legend
Don Knotts, her husband, was a beloved American actor renowned for his roles in “The Andy Griffith Show” and “Three’s Company.” He ranked among TV Guide’s 50 Greatest TV Stars of All Time in 1979. Frances Yarborough was Don’s third wife, and they married in 2002. Their partnership garnered significant media attention, and they remained together until Don’s passing on February 24, 2006, at the age of 81.
Challenges Faced Together
Don Knotts faced health challenges, including cancer and macular degeneration, in his final years. Remarkably, the couple chose to keep his illness private, demonstrating their commitment to his career. Even Don’s children and closest friend, Andy Griffith, were unaware of the severity of his condition.
The Passing of a Legend
Loved ones, including Frances, Karen, and Tom, surrounded Don Knotts’ final moments. He passed away due to pneumonia-related complications from lung cancer. He rests in Westwood Memorial Park alongside other iconic figures. Frances penned a touching inscription, highlighting Don’s ability to find humour in life’s poignancy.
Life After Don Knotts
Following Don’s death, Frances Yarborough’s life took a quieter turn. Her activities and pursuits remain a mystery, as she never pursued acting professionally. Her aversion to modern communication platforms adds to the intrigue surrounding her life today.
The Mystery of Wealth
While Don Knotts had a considerable fortune, estimated at around $20 million at the time of his death, the details of its distribution remain undisclosed. Frances may have inherited a significant portion, but the specifics will likely remain private.
Frances Yarborough’s journey is a captivating tale of love, laughter, and life in the limelight. Her legacy is intertwined with the legendary career of Don Knotts, and her private life continues to pique the curiosity of many.