Karen Knotts learned her craft at the Universtity of Southern California, where she was directed by the great Emmy award-winning director Alex Siegal (Diary of Ann Frank). After graduating, she did shows in Equity regional theatres across the country with her father, Don Knotts. Don and Karen performed in the plays Mind with a Dirty Man, Norman is that You? and You Can’t Take It With You in California, Michigan, Kansas, Illinois, and New York.
Karen’s first break in TV was playing a suicidal hippy hitchhiker in Doctor’s Hospital starring George Peppard. In addition to reciting limericks, the part required her to throw herself through the car’s windshield. After that fine training, Karen played a more relaxed role as a former high school beauty queen in Return to Mayberry. Bit parts in many sitcoms followed, she was even directed by the colorful Carol O’Connor.
In 2008 a friend dared Karen to try standup comedy at an ‘Open Mic’… and Karen is still standing. She loves doing standup at the Comedy Store, Flappers, and Laugh Factory. Karen is also in demand as an Emcee and Variety Arts Entertainer. A favorite film role is Celimene in David Hefner’s period piece, An Occurrence at Black Canyon, which became a hit on the festival circuit. Karen is an alumnus of Lonnnie Chapman’s GRT theater company, where she was nominated for an ADA actor’s award for her portrayal of an Italian diva in the hit comedy Lend Me A Tenor. Karen’s short play Roger and Betsy was a finalist for the Merce awards in 2009. She has also created a television pilot for children, Twinkles and Friends, and two comedies Dates From Hell, and But We Open Tonight!.
Karen is currently on tour with a one woman show she wrote: Tied Up in Knotts, a hilarious comedy adventure about growing up with her fabulous dad, Don Knotts.