Skip to comments.Actor Don Knotts dies at 81; made being a nerd OK
Posted on 02/25/2006 2:38:42 PM PST by lunarbicep
LOS ANGELES - Don Knotts, the skinny, lovable nerd who kept generations of television audiences laughing as bumbling Deputy Barney Fife on "The Andy Griffith Show," has died. He was 81.
Knotts died Friday night of pulmonary and respiratory complications at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center in Beverly Hills, said Paul Ward, a spokesman for the cable network TV Land, which airs "The Andy Griffith Show," and another Knotts hit, "Three's Company."
Unspecified health problems had forced him to cancel an appearance in his native Morgantown in August 2005.
The West Virginia-born actor's half-century career included seven TV series and more than 25 films, but it was the Griffith show that brought him TV immortality and five Emmies.
The show ran from 1960-68, and was in the top 10 of the Nielsen ratings each season, including a No. 1 ranking its final year. It is one of only three series in TV history to bow out at the top: The others are "I Love Lucy" and "Seinfeld." The 249 episodes have appeared frequently in reruns and have spawned a large, active network of fan clubs.
As the bug-eyed deputy to Griffith, Knotts carried in his shirt pocket the one bullet he was allowed after shooting himself in the foot. The constant fumbling, a recurring sight gag, was typical of his self-deprecating humor.
Knotts, whose shy, soft-spoken manner was unlike his high-strung characters, once said he was most proud of the Fife character and doesn't mind being remembered that way.
His favorite episodes, he said, were "The Pickle Story," where Aunt Bea makes pickles no one can eat, and "Barney and the Choir," where no one can stop him from singing. "I can't sing. It makes me sad that I can't sing or dance well enough to be in a musical, but I'm just not talented in that way," he lamented. "It's one of my weaknesses
Too bad, he seemed a real nice chap. Hopefully heaven gained a comedian.
But as for not being able to sing, didn't stop his look alike, Mick Jagger.
He brought a life of laughter to us. Rest in peace Mr. Knotts.
RIP, Don. I enjoyed you in the early Disney movies.
Two classics. I sure wish Hollywierd could manage for find decent guys like him.
Sad, sad news.
OH!>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>My favorite show..God Bless BArney one of the greats is now gone..:(
Sad news indeed. RIP Don Knotts, you will be missed.
Don Knotts enlisted in the United States Army at the age of 19, serving during World War II. In addition to serving on the field, he used his time in the Army to hone his entertainment skills, entertaining his fellow soldiers, eventually discarding his ventriloquist dummy and standing on his own as an entertainer. He served the U.S. Army honorably, and was awarded the World War II Victory Medal, Philippine Liberation Medal, Asiatic-Pacific Campaign Medal (with 4 bronze service stars), Army Good Conduct Medal, Marksman Badge (with Carbine Bar) and Honorable Service Lapel Pin. Don Knotts was honorably discharged on January 6, 1946.
Well done Sir. Rest In Peace Mr. Knotts.
Remeber his time on Threes' Company???
:( :( :(
"Henry Limpet: What if I told you I used to be a human being?
Ladyfish: I don't care how terrible your past was, Limpet."
RIP Mr. Knotts.
Don Knotts was an excellent actor to portray such a person as Barney Fife and be so far in real life removed from Barney's persona.
Met him on a flight one time, when he was flying back from a reunion pic with his Mayberry friends.
Nice guy and magnanimous as all get out. I treasure his autograph (he made it out to my wife).
Dang! One of my all-time favourite comedians has passed. Prayers for his friends and family.
So many good TV moments and damned funny movies. I may have to watch the Ghost and Mister Chicken and the Reluctant Astronaut.
Remember the time Barney tried to recite the pre-amble to the Constitution for Andy, and Andy had to prompt him through the whole thing. Classic American comedy! Don Knotts was great.
One of the best TV shows ever. They don't make 'em like that anymore.
Rest in peace Mr. Knotts.
The The Andy Griffith Show would never have made without old Barney.
You done good, Don.
If this planet is around in a thousand years, people will still be laughing at (and with) Deputy Fife.
Don Knotts passes.
You could learn alot about life from watching Andy Griffith. And insecure Barney was at the heart of the show. I loved the way Andy always looked out for his goofy friend.
What a loss.
Thank You Mr. Knotts, for the FREEDOM and the laughs.
Don Knotts spent a great deal of time in Traverse City, Michigan at the Cherry County Playhouse...In later years when the theater was move to Muskegon, Michigan, Don frequented that city as well...
Some of the old time actors spent a lot of time in Traverse City...The Ponderosa crew were seen there often...There were a few scenes in the Ponderosa series that were actually filmed in Traverse City, Mich...
These 'giants' of television also participated in the annual local parade during the Grand Traverse Cherry Festival...
Just a little history I am familiar with...
Nobody made me laugh harder than Don Knotts. RIP
Oh I remember..I watch Andy on Classic TV when ever it is on!
I will miss him..the greatest deputy!
And Hillary lives.
Barney Fife, best sitcom character ever.
What a bummer!
He was great on the old Steve Allen Show on the Man On The Street segment. RIP
If there is, we'll have to nip it in the bud, I tell ya, nip it in the bud!
I loved those Man on the Street segments of the Steve Allen Show..I remember that Tom Poston, played a guy who always forgot his name, and then there was another actor(tho I cannot remember his name), who played an extremely cheery guy name Gordon Hathaway...and then there was Don Knotts, who played the highly nervous little fellow, who could barely speak...now that was comedy...
So he really did know how to handle a firearm!
Don Knotts (the nervous one)
Bill Dana (My name...Jose...Jimenez)
Tom Poston (couldn't remember his name)
Louis Nye (Hi-ho, Steverino!)
Dayton Allen (Whyyyyyyy not?)
Who'm I forgetting?
Believe it or not, that was my first thought.
Gotta send this on to our oldest son.
Is that your frat, too?
You got that right! The guy you're thinking of was Louis Nye, who also died within the past year.
Man, all the guys I enjoyed as a kid--they're all going now.
Ah, but your post is more correct...thanks for that mention of Louis Nye...I just could not remember his name...and I had forgotten(how could I?) all about Jose Jimenez, played by Bill Dana...