Ladies and gentlemen, the incomparable
Whether enforcing law and order as Deputy on the streets of #Mayberry, collecting rent from the young tenants of his California apartment complex or swimming the deep blue sea, one can certainly agree that Don Knotts never ceases to amaze.
Born Jesse Donald Knotts on July 21, 1924, in Morgantown, West Virginia, Knotts began performing during his teenage years, as a comedian and ventriloquist, in local churches and school functions. Following his university freshman year Knotts joined the U.S. Army. His background and love for performing is what drove him to tour the Pacific Islands during World War II as a comedian in a G.I. variety show called Stars and Gripes.
After the war Knotts relocated to New York City where he began landing regular acting gigs on television and radio and on #Broadway. His stage debut came in 1955 with the hit comedy #NoTimeForSargeants, which began the famous pairinf of Knotts and #AndyGriffith.
In 1960, after 4 years of a regular roll with #TheSteveAllenShow, Knotts relocated to Hollywood along with the show itself, which is where he began production on a brand new comedy #TheAndyGriffithShow, with long time colleague and friend, Andy Griffith.
A #Desilu production, The Andy Griffith Show stars Griffith and Knotts as the Sheriff and Deputy of the town of Mayberry and follows their attempts at maintaining law and order amongst the comedic members of this small, friendly, southern town. Thus began the roll he would long be remembered and loved for!
During his run on the series as a “Barney Fife” for 5 seasons he earned three #EmmyAwards for outstanding performance in a supporting role in a series. He left to pursue a film career and even when returning as a guest star earned an additional 2 Emmys.
His film career was often steady and his work praised by audiences. His comedic timing, charm and lovability set him up for success with a string of family films, The Ghost and Mr. Chicken (1966), The Reluctant Astronaut (1967), The Shakiest Gun in the West (1968), and his first starring role and my favorite of his film endevours, The Incredible Mr. Limpet (1964).
In 1979 he returned to prime time television in the hit comedy series #Three’sCompany as Ralph Furley, the landlord of John Ritter’s character “Jack Tripper” until the show’s final season in 1984.
He went on to guest star in several television shows and also held a small, but memorable role in #Pleasantville (1998). In 1999, Knotts published his autobiography, Barney Fife and Other Characters I Have Known.
Knotts succumbed to lung cancer on February 24, 2006, at the age of 81, in Los Angeles, California. He was survived by two children, Karen and Thomas, from his first marriage to Kathryn Metz.
A long, hysterical career that many would have been honored to have played lead to this second banana!
Let us leave you now with one of the best Barney Fife scenes of The Andy Griffith Show. Not often was Knotts given the opportunity to showcase his full acting range, but when he did he stole more than the scene, he stole our hearts too!
Thank you Mr. Knotts. You may step down.