DON KNOTTS

 

Jesse Donald "Don" Knotts (July 21, 1924 – February 24, 2006)

was an American actor. He was born in Morgantown, West Virginia to Elsie L. Moore and William Jesse Knotts, whose ancestors had been in America since the 17th century. He served in World War II as an entertainer and received the World War II Victory Medal.

Knotts died on February 24, 2006 of pulmonary and respiratory complications at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center in Beverly Hills, California. The Los Angeles Times reports that Knotts suffered from lung cancer.  

Don Knotts graduated from West Virginia University in 1948 with a degree in theater. After being a regular performer in the soap opera Search for Tomorrow from 1953 to 1955, he gained additional exposure in 1956 on Steve Allen’s variety show. He is remembered for appearing in Allen’s mock "Man in the Street" interviews, always as a man obviously very nervous about being on camera. This fidgety, high-strung characterization would serve him well throughout his career.

Knotts is best known for his role as Deputy Barney Fife on the American television sitcom The Andy Griffith Show, a portrayal that earned him five Emmy Awards. After leaving the series in 1965, Knotts starred in a series of film comedies: The Incredible Mr. Limpet (1964), The Ghost and Mr. Chicken (1966), The Reluctant Astronaut (1967), The Shakiest Gun in the West (1968) and The Love God? (1969).

In the 1970s, Knotts and Tim Conway starred together in a series of slapstick movies. The best-known examples of these slapstick movies were the 1975 feature film for Disney, The Apple Dumpling Gang, and its 1979 sequel, The Apple Dumpling Gang Rides Again.

Knotts returned to series television in the late 1970s, appearing as landlord Ralph Furley on Three’s Company starring John Ritter, after Audra Lindley and Norman Fell left the show to star in a short-lived spinoff series ("The Ropers"). Knotts remained on the show from 1979 until it ended in 1984. in 1989, Knotts was given a recurring role as pesky neighbor Les Calhoun on Matlock, which starred his old friend and star Andy Griffith. He enjoyed this role until 1992. He also appeared with Griffith in the 1986 made for television movie Return to Mayberry, where he reprised his role as "Barney Fife".

In 1998, Knotts began a recent career comeback as the mysterious TV repairman in Pleasantville (1998) and as the voice of Mayor Turkey Lurkey in Disney’s big film Chicken Little in 2005 (his first Disney movie since 1979).

In addition to his work in film and television, in the late 1960s and early ’70s, Knotts served as the spokesman for Dodge trucks and was featured prominently in a series of memorable print ads and dealer brochures.

Knotts died on February 24, 2006 of pulmonary and respiratory complications at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center in Beverly Hills, California. The Los Angeles Times reports that Knotts suffered from lung cancer.

 


MY TWO CENTS:

Don Knotts is a national treasure, one of the most naturally gifted comic actors the world has ever seen. Here are my favorite movies and television shows he has appeared in.

 

MOVIES

Search for Tomorrow (cast member from 1953-1955)

The Incredible Mr. Limpet (1964)

The Ghost and Mr. Chicken (1966)

The Apple Dumpling Gang (1975) Gus (1976)

TV

The Andy Griffith Show (cast member from 1960-1965)

Three’s Company (cast member from 1979-1984)

 

DON KNOTTS

 

R.I.P

Advertisements

Posted on February 26, 2006, in In Memoriam and tagged , . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

Leave a Reply

Please log in using one of these methods to post your comment:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: