Don Knotts
actor, comedian
Don Knotts
Jesse Donald "Don" Knotts was an American comedic actor best known for his portrayal of Barney Fife on the 1960s television sitcom The Andy Griffith Show, a role which earned him five Emmy Awards. He also played landlord Ralph Furley on the 1970s television sitcom Three's Company. In 1996, TV Guide ranked him number 27 on its 50 Greatest TV Stars of All Time list.
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Soundcast Reviews: <i>Wooden Overcoats</i>, <i>Gilbert Gottfried</i> & <i>Two Beers In</i>
Huffington Post - 4 months
Wooden Overcoats S2E1: The Ghost of Piffling Vale The delightfully funny and fast-paced soundcast sitcom Wooden Overcoats is back. It's been months since its first season concluded but given the rich production value and the tight writing, Season 2 looks to be worth the wait if the kickoff episode is any indication. Things pick up essentially where they left off -- Rudyard Funn and Eric Chapman, owner/undertakers of two rival funeral homes are competing for the dying denizens of the tiny Channel island village of Piffling Vale, which is scarcely big enough to support one of them. Rudyard's sister, Antigone, has been made a partner in the business; their way-over-qualified assistant Georgie is still...assisting. And the whole series of misadventures is narrated by Madeline, the mouse with dreams of publishing her memoirs. The episode that opens the second season is Halloween-appropriate, in that the sitcom-wacky plot involves Rudyard and his staff having to put on a séance i ...
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Huffington Post article
Rocktober's Festival Supreme Chock Full of Comedy
Huffington Post - over 1 year
Is it possible to have too much comedy? Festival Supreme seems to be insistent on testing that limit, adding a fourth stage this year. The third annual Festival, which took place at the Shrine Auditorium in downtown Los Angeles, was chock full of comedians, sketch acts, rock bands, and oddities this past weekend. Even with Jenny Slate, Good Neighbor, and Adam Devine dropping out, Supreme lords, Jack Black and Kyle Gass would never let the crowd down, and quickly replaced them with Reggie Watts, Henry Rollins, Greg Behrendt, Bill Burr and Tig Notaro. This added to an already jam-packed schedule, which created some conundrums. Who do you watch? Who do you leave behind? It was a veritable comedy Sophie's Choice. The event kicked off with one of the standouts of the day, the goofy and absurdist sketch of 2 Headed Dog. Dave "Gruber" Allen encouraged the crowd to take as many photos as we liked because there were no rules. The anarchy that followed fit that attitude. Notable sketches inc ...
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Huffington Post article
Rocktober's Festival Supreme Chock Full of Comedy
Huffington Post - over 1 year
Is it possible to have too much comedy? Festival Supreme seems to be insistent on testing that limit, adding a fourth stage this year. The third annual Festival, which took place at the Shrine Auditorium in downtown Los Angeles, was chock full of comedians, sketch acts, rock bands, and oddities this past weekend. Even with Jenny Slate, Good Neighbor, and Adam Devine dropping out, Supreme lords, Jack Black and Kyle Gass would never let the crowd down, and quickly replaced them with Reggie Watts, Henry Rollins, Greg Behrendt, Bill Burr and Tig Notaro. This added to an already jam-packed schedule, which created some conundrums. Who do you watch? Who do you leave behind? It was a veritable comedy Sophie's Choice. The event kicked off with one of the standouts of the day, the goofy and absurdist sketch of 2 Headed Dog. Dave "Gruber" Allen encouraged the crowd to take as many photos as we liked because there were no rules. The anarchy that followed fit that attitude. Notable sketches inclu ...
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Huffington Post article
How I Discovered That Authors Never Die
Huffington Post - about 3 years
I was driving home after crossing the multitude of items off my to-do list that required vehicular motion when I saw Books-A-Million near the highway. I could not pass up the opportunity to go in. (Honestly, I really had to use the restroom, but I actually spent well over two hours in the bookstore.) I lusted over the pretty iPhone cases and the surprisingly cool collection of vinyls in the electronics section while reminiscing on the time when Books-A-Million didn't sell vinyls and nobody knew what iPhones were -- why is there an electronic section in a bookstore? -- and then I found myself walking over to the teen section. I always end up in the teen section. Even though some of the literature there is unintentionally satirical (I'm not going to name any names... but Twilight), the teen section has introduced me to novels that have changed my life, such as John Green's Looking for Alaska, Rainbow Rowell's Eleanor and Park and Ned Vizzini's It's Kind of a Funny Story. When I was co ...
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Huffington Post article
The Hidden Hobbit: 10 Secrets from Tolkien's Classic
Huffington Post - over 3 years
Revisiting "The Hobbit" is like sifting through the deep piles of loot in a dragon's hoard: there's always something new to discover about J.R.R. Tolkien and his classic. Here are 10 secrets concerning the author and his tale that you, good lover of Middle-earth, might have overlooked. A Hobbit Smorgasbord The first translation of "The Hobbit" was in Swedish, and Tolkien was none too pleased with the result. The translator altered the name of Hobbits to the bizarre Hompen. Tolkien hated it when foreign publishers changed his word Hobbit to something else, like the first Portuguese edition that was called "O Gnomo" ("The Gnome"). Thankfully the most recent translations of "The Hobbit" in both of these languages now use the word "Hobbit" in their titles. FYI: If you speak Esperanto the book is called "La Hobito." Smells Like Hobbit Spirit In Tolkien's posthumously published story "The Quest of Erebor," Gandalf states that he chose the plucky Bilbo to join Thorin's expedition to the ...
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Huffington Post article
The NRA Doesn't Care About My Kids (Or Yours)
The Huffington Post - about 4 years
Though my political views lean left, I do not want to take away the rights of American citizens to own guns. But, as a father and in the wake of the series of mass shootings in December that started with the deaths of 20 children and 6 brave educators at Sandy Hook, I want guns to be harder to get. According to a recent Gallup poll, more than half of the country (58 percent) agrees with me. I don't own any guns, but I enjoy heading to the shooting range and doing my best Dirty Harry, though I often end up looking more like Don Knotts. When my wife and I discuss guns with our boys, we make the distinction that they are tools -- for hunting, for protection -- and were integral in the formation of our country as we know it. But, when James Madison drafted the 2nd Amendment in the Bill of Rights, he and his fellow legislators probably weren't picturing a classroom of dead children, let alone multiple classrooms of dead children. More...
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The Huffington Post article
Beloved actor Andy Griffith dies at 86
Blue Ridge Now - over 4 years
RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) — Andy Griffith, who made homespun Southern wisdom his trademark as the wise sheriff in "The Andy Griffith Show" and the rumpled defense lawyer in "Matlock," died Tuesday. He was 86. Griffith died about 7 a.m. at his coastal home, Dare County Sheriff Doug Doughtie said in a statement. "Mr. Griffith passed away this morning at his home peacefully and has been laid to rest on his beloved Roanoke Island," Doughtie told The Associated Press, reading from a family statement. The family will release further information, the sheriff said. He had suffered a heart attack and underwent quadruple bypass surgery in 2000. Griffith's career spanned more than a half-century on stage, film and television, but he would always be best known as Sheriff Andy Taylor in the television show set in a North Carolina town not too different from Griffith's own hometown of Mount Airy, N.C. Griffith set the show in the fictional town of Mayberry, N.C., where Sheriff Taylor was the d ...
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Blue Ridge Now article
Erika L. Sánchez: One Latina Twentysomething's 12 Tips for Teens
Huffington Post - over 4 years
I am not a wise old crone. I am only 28 and though I have been successful in many realms, I am disgruntled about plenty of things. I am not a picture of late 20s perfection, by any means. But bumbling through life, I have learned helpful things that I would like to pass on. I have compiled some tips for teenage girls, some of which I learned by doing, others by judgmentally observing. 1.) Don't hang out with girls that are set on giving each other eating disorders. I know it can be tempting to hang out with the cool chicks, but the cool chicks are almost always dreadful. Have you seen "Mean Girls?" Please watch that as soon as you get home. Take copious notes. When you're older, you will likely run into these cool girls while you're visiting your old neighborhood. They will have a minimum of three children and look like life whacked them repeatedly with the stick of misfortune. You will try to be the better person and not delight in this fact -- but you will fail. 2.) In ...
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Huffington Post article
George Lindsey, TV's 'Goober Pyle,' Remembered At Funeral Service
The Guestlist - almost 5 years
NASHVILLE, Tenn. -- Actor George Lindsey was remembered Friday as the grinning Goober who made television viewers laugh for three decades on "The Andy Griffith Show" and "Hee Haw." A public memorial service drew an estimated 400 people who paid last respects to Lindsey, 83, who died Sunday. He was the beanie-wearing Goober on "The Andy Griffith Show" from 1964 to 1968 and its successor, "Mayberry RFD," from 1968 to 1971. He played the same jovial character, a mechanic, on "Hee Haw" from 1971 until it went out of production in 1993. Reruns of those shows are still seen on TV. Griffith did not attend, but sent a statement that was read by country music broadcaster Keith Bilbrey at the service at Westminster Presbyterian Church. "George was a better joke teller than me, and I will say here that I `borrowed' jokes from George that he may have `borrowed' from Minnie Pearl," Griffith confessed. "George told me his fondest memories in show business were the years h ...
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The Guestlist article
Dan Knott, respected former Chrysler purchasing chief, dies
Reach Out Job Search News - almost 5 years
Former Chrysler purchasing chief Dan Knott, who retired two weeks ago for medical reasons, died Sunday, Chrysler said in a news release. Knott was 51 and had been battling cancer. Chrysler said Knott died peacefully in his sleep about 2:15 a.m. and was surrounded by his family.
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Reach Out Job Search News article
Learn about memorable moments in the evolution of Don Knotts
  • 2006
    Age 80
    Don Knotts died at age 81 on February 24, 2006 at the Cedars-Sinai Medical Center in Los Angeles, California from pulmonary and respiratory complications to pneumonia related to lung cancer.
    More Details Hide Details He had been undergoing treatment at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center in the months before his death, but he returned home after he reportedly had been feeling better. He was buried at Westwood Memorial Park in Los Angeles. Knotts’ obituaries cited him as a major influence on other entertainers. In early 2011, his grave's plain granite headstone was replaced with a bronze plaque which shows several of Knotts' movie roles. A statue honoring Knotts was unveiled Saturday, July 23, 2016 in front of The Metropolitan Theatre on High Street in his hometown, Morgantown, West Virginia.
  • 2005
    Age 79
    During this period of time, macular degeneration in both eyes caused the otherwise robust Knotts to become virtually blind. His live appearances on television were few. In 2005, Knotts parodied his Ralph Furley character while playing a Paul Young variation in a Desperate Housewives sketch on The 3rd Annual TV Land Awards.
    More Details Hide Details He parodied that part one final time, "Stone Cold Crazy", an episode of the sitcom That ’70s Show. In the show, Knotts played Fez and Jackie's new landlord. This would be his last live-action television appearance. His final role was in Air Buddies (a 2006 direct-to-video sequel to Air Bud), voicing the sheriff's deputy dog, Sniffer. Knotts was married three times: From his first marriage Knotts had a son, Thomas Knotts, and a daughter, actress Karen Knotts.
    In 2005, he was the voice of Mayor Turkey Lurkey in Chicken Little (2005), his first Disney movie since 1979.
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  • 2003
    Age 77
    On September 12, 2003, Knotts was in Kansas City in a stage version of On Golden Pond when he received a call from John Ritter's family telling him that his former Three's Company co-star had died of an aortic dissection that day.
    More Details Hide Details Knotts and his co-stars attended the funeral four days later. Knotts had appeared with Ritter one final time in a cameo on 8 Simple Rules for Dating My Teenage Daughter. It was an episode that paid homage to their earlier TV series. Knotts was the last Three's Company star to work with Ritter.
    In 2003, Knotts teamed up with Tim Conway again to provide voices for the direct-to-video children's series Hermie and Friends which continued until his death.
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  • 2002
    Age 76
    In 2002, he appeared again with Scooby-Doo in the video game Scooby-Doo!
    More Details Hide Details Night of 100 Frights. (Knotts also spoofed his appearances on that show in various promotions for Cartoon Network and in a parody on Robot Chicken, where he was teamed with Phyllis Diller).
  • 2000
    Age 74
    He continued to act on stage, but much of his film and television work after 2000 was as voice talent.
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    Knotts was recognized in 2000 with a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame.
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  • 1998
    Age 72
    In 1998, Knotts played a small but pivotal role as a mysterious TV repairman in Pleasantville.
    More Details Hide Details That year, his home town of Morgantown, West Virginia, changed the name of the street formerly known as South University Avenue (U.S. Route 119) to Don Knotts Boulevard on "Don Knotts Day". Also that day, in a nod to Don's role as Barney Fife, he was named an honorary deputy sheriff with the Monongalia County Sheriff's Department.
  • 1996
    Age 70
    After that, Knotts’s roles were sporadic, including a cameo appearance in the 1996 film Big Bully as the principal of the high school.
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  • 1988
    Age 62
    In 1988, Knotts joined Andy Griffith in another show, playing the recurring role of pesky neighbor Les Calhoun on Matlock until 1992.
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  • 1987
    Age 61
    In early 1987, Knotts joined the cast of the first-run syndication comedy What a Country!, playing Principal Bud McPherson for series' remaining 13 episodes.
    More Details Hide Details The sitcom was produced by Martin Rips and Joseph Staretski, who had previously worked on Three's Company.
  • 1986
    Age 60
    In 1986, Don Knotts reunited with Andy Griffith in the made-for-television film Return to Mayberry, again reprising his Barney Fife role.
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  • 1984
    Age 58
    Knotts remained on the show until it ended in 1984.
    More Details Hide Details The Three's Company script supervisor, Carol Summers, became Knotts' agent and often accompanied him to personal appearances.
  • 1981
    Age 55
    On set, Knotts easily integrated himself to the already-established cast who were, as John Ritter put it, "so scared" of Knotts because of his star status when he joined the cast. When Suzanne Somers left the show after a contract dispute in 1981, the writers started giving the material meant for Somers' Crissy to Knotts' Furley.
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  • 1979
    Age 53
    In 1979, Knotts returned to series television in his second most identifiable role, the wacky-but-lovable landlord Ralph Furley on Three's Company.
    More Details Hide Details The series, which was already an established hit, added Knotts to the cast when the original landlords, Helen Roper and her husband Stanley Roper (a married couple played by Audra Lindley and Norman Fell, respectively) left the show to star in their own short-lived spin-off series (The Ropers).
  • 1975
    Age 49
    Beginning in 1975, Knotts was teamed with Tim Conway in a series of slapstick films aimed at children, including the 1975 Disney film The Apple Dumpling Gang and its 1979 sequel, The Apple Dumpling Gang Rides Again.
    More Details Hide Details They also did two independent films, the boxing comedy The Prize Fighter in 1979, and the mystery comedy The Private Eyes in 1980. Knotts co-starred in several other Disney films, including Gus (1976), No Deposit, No Return (1976), Herbie Goes to Monte Carlo (1977), and Hot Lead and Cold Feet (1978).
  • 1972
    Age 46
    In 1972, Knotts voiced an animated version of himself in two episodes of The New Scooby Doo Movies: "The Spooky Fog of Juneberry", in which he played a lawman resembling Barney Fife, and "Guess Who's Knott Coming to Dinner".
    More Details Hide Details He also appeared as Felix Unger in a stage version of Neil Simon's The Odd Couple, with Art Carney as Oscar Madison.
  • 1970
    Age 44
    In 1970, he made yet another appearance as Barney Fife in the pilot of The New Andy Griffith Show.
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    On television, he went on to host a variety show/sitcom hybrid on NBC, The Don Knotts Show, which aired Tuesdays during the fall of 1970, but the series was low-rated and short-lived.
    More Details Hide Details He also made frequent guest appearances on other shows such as The Bill Cosby Show and Here's Lucy.
  • 1965
    Age 39
    Knotts left the series in 1965.
    More Details Hide Details Within the series, it was announced that Deputy Fife had finally made the "big time", joining the Raleigh, North Carolina police force. Knotts went on to star in a series of film comedies which drew on his high-strung persona from the TV series: he had a cameo appearance in It's a Mad, Mad, Mad, Mad World (1963), and starred in The Incredible Mr. Limpet (1964), The Ghost and Mr. Chicken (1966), The Reluctant Astronaut (1967), The Shakiest Gun in the West (1968), The Love God? (1969) and How to Frame a Figg (1971). Knotts reprised his role as Barney Fife several times in the 1960s: he made five more guest appearances on The Andy Griffith Show (gaining him another two Emmys), and he later appeared once on the spin-off Mayberry RFD, where he was present as best man for the marriage of Andy Taylor and his longtime love, Helen Crump.
  • 1960
    Age 34
    In 1960, Andy Griffith was offered the opportunity to headline his own sitcom, The Andy Griffith Show (1960–1968).
    More Details Hide Details Knotts took the role of Barney Fife, the deputy—and originally cousin—of Sheriff Andy Taylor (portrayed by Griffith). Knotts’s portrayal of the deputy on the popular show earned him five Emmy Awards for Best Supporting Actor in a Television Comedy, three awards for the first five seasons that he played the character. A summary of the show from the website of the Museum of Broadcast Communications describes Deputy Barney Fife: Self-important, romantic, and nearly always wrong, Barney dreamed of the day he could use the one bullet Andy had issued to him although he did fire his gun on a few occasions. He always fired his pistol accidentally while still in his holster or in the ceiling of the court house, at which point he would sadly hand his pistol to Andy. This is why Barney kept his one very shiny bullet in his shirt pocket. In episode # 196 Andy gave Barney more bullets so that he would have a loaded gun to go after a bad guy that Barney unintentionally helped to escape. While Barney was forever frustrated that Mayberry was too small for the delusional ideas he had of himself, viewers got the sense that he couldn't have survived anywhere else. Don Knotts played the comic and pathetic sides of the character with equal aplomb and he received three Emmy Awards during the show's first five seasons.
  • 1958
    Age 32
    In 1958, Knotts appeared for the first time on film with Andy Griffith in the film version of No Time for Sergeants.
    More Details Hide Details In that film, Knotts reprises his Broadway role and plays a high-strung Air Force test administrator whose routine is disrupted by the hijinks of a provincial new recruit.
  • 1955
    Age 29
    From October 20, 1955 through September 14, 1957, Knotts appeared in the Broadway version of No Time for Sergeants, in which he played two roles, listed on the playbill as a Corporal Manual Dexterity and a Preacher.
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  • 1953
    Age 27
    Knotts got his first major break on television in the soap opera Search for Tomorrow where he appeared from 1953 to 1955.
    More Details Hide Details He came to fame in 1956 on Steve Allen's variety show, as part of Allen's repertory company, most notably in Allen's mock "Man in the Street" interviews, always as an extremely nervous man. He remained with the Allen program through the 1959-1960 season.
  • 1948
    Age 22
    Knotts graduated from Morgantown High School. After enlisting in the Army and serving in World War II, Knotts earned a bachelor's degree from West Virginia University, graduating in 1948.
    More Details Hide Details While serving in the United States Army after high school, Knotts spent most of his service entertaining troops. (An urban legend claims that Knotts served in the United States Marine Corps during World War II, serving as a drill instructor at Parris Island, but this is not true.) He began his career performing in many venues, including a ventriloquist act with a dummy named Danny "Hooch" Matador. In a TV Guide interview in the 1970s, he said that he had grown tired of playing straight man for a hunk of wood when he was in the Army. According to Knotts, he tossed the dummy overboard off a ship in the South Pacific. He swore that he could hear the dummy calling for help as the ship sailed on, leaving him bobbing helplessly in the waves.
  • 1941
    Age 15
    Her son William Earl Knotts (1910–1941) preceded her in death in 1941, at age 31.
    More Details Hide Details They are buried in the family plot at Beverly Hills Memorial Park, in Morgantown. Don Knotts is a sixth cousin of Ron Howard, a co-star on The Andy Griffith Show.
  • 1924
    Age -2
    Born on July 21, 1924.
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