Don Knotts

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Don Knotts

Born

7/21/1924, Morgantown, West Virginia

Died

2/24/2006

Birth Name

Jesse Donald Knotts

Gender

Male

Also Known As

Don Knotts
9.7
out of 10
User Rating
84 votes

Biography

EDIT
What does an actor do when he earns Emmy after Emmy playing a high-strung, overenthusiastic sheriff's deputy on a long-running TV comedy hit? If he's Don Knotts, he brings variations of that same character to the big screen in a succession of juvenile comedy features. This skinny, bug-eyed…more

Credits

Trivia and Quotes

  • Trivia

    • In 1998, Don appeared in a television commercial for Kodiak pressure treated wood.

    • In 1967, Don was nominated (he came in 5th place) for the Golden Laurel Award in the category of Male Comedy Performance for his work on the 1967 film The Reluctant Astronaut.

    • In 2005, Don was nominated for a TV Land Award in the category of Favorite Nosy Neighbor for his role on the television series Three's Company.

    • Don stood at 5' 6½" or 1.69 m.

    • Don plays the part of Capt. Harry Little in the 1961 film The Last Time I Saw Archie.

    • Andy Griffith stayed right by Dons side right up until he died.

    • Knotts lived till 81 years of age.

    • Don Knotts got his star on Hollywood Walk of Fame at age 75.

    • Don's ventriloquist dummy was named Danny.

    • In 2004, in Morgantown West Virginia Don went to celebrate his 80th birthday. The town gave him a parade and honored him with the Don Knotts Film Festival that next summer. They formed the West Virginia's Walk of Fame, in front of the Metropolitan Theater. They honored Don by making his the first star in their Walk of fame.

    • Though most of Don Knotts life he has been relatively healthy, he has battled with a degenerative eye disease. This disease eventually resulted in him becoming legally blind.

    • Don Knotts married Kathryn Kay Metz December 27, 1947. They produced both of his children Thomas Allen Knotts and Karen Ann Knotts. The marriage ended in divorce in 1964. Don married for a second time to Loralee Czuchna on October 12, 1974. This married ended in divorce in 1983.

    • Don Knotts was born July 21, 1924 to William Jesse Knotts and Elsa Luzetta Moore. His father was a farmer who died when Don was 13 years old. His mother was a homemaker and lived until 1969. Don has three brothers: Ralph Lewis Knotts, Willis Vincent Knotts, William Earl "Bill" Knotts.

    • Don Knotts was awarded a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame at 7083 Hollywood Blvd for his contributions in the field of television.

    • Don Knotts is the father of Thomas and Karen Knotts. Tom Knotts has given him one grandson, Steven Knotts.

    • Don Knotts was told early in his career that he did not have a chance as a actor. He took a job plucking chickens for a market.

    • Don Knotts was raised like an only child because he was conceived after his parents had already raised other sons.

    • Don Knotts older brother "Shadow" died of asthma in 1942.

    • Don Knotts' service number in the Army was 35 756 363. He served from June 21, 1943 to January 6, 1946. He was discharged in the rank of Technician Grade 5.

    • Don is a member of the fraternity Phi Sigma Kappa

    • In addition to his role on Search for Tomorrow in the mid 1950s, Don had the recurring role of Mr. Morrsion in the late 1950s on The Steve Allen Show. This was a comedy part where he played a "fidgety chap".

    • Like many actors Don Knotts got his television start on a soap opera. In his early television years, he played Wilbur Peterson from 1953-1955 on Search for Tomorrow. This was a relatively straight drama role.

    • Don Knotts and Andy Griffith first met when Knotts auditioned for Griffith's hit play, "No Time for Sergeants". This was the start of the duo acting together. These Southern boys worked for almost two years on this boardway hit. They later reprised their roles in the film adaption of Time for Sergeants. Incidentally this film was Don Knotts' first movie.

    • After Don graduated from college at age 25, he got his first real show business break. He was hired to play the decrepit old "Windy Wales" in a revival of the popular radio western Bobby Benson.

    • Upon being discharged, from the Army, Don Knotts tired his hand again at ventriloquist and stand-up comedian. He had a thick Southern accent which made his act almost unintelligible unless he was in the South. He decided if he wanted to do something about his accent, he would need to study. He went to college, majoring in Education but with a strong minor in speech.

    • A false fact that has been written in several Marine Corps books is that Don Knotts was a Drill Instructor in the United States Marine Corps. Don does not know how this rumor got stated. It embarrasses him because; he does not think he could have made it through Marine Corps booth camp. For the record he would like people to know that he did service this country but not with the Marines. When he was 19 he joined the army. This is when he got his start in show business. His duties consisted of entertaining the troops. He was in traveling GI variety shows called "Stars and Gripes."

    • In high school, Donald had modest success with performing as a ventriloquist.

    • Donald Knotts grew up in "dirt poor" West Virginia during the Great Depression. Unfortunately, during this time his father developed paranoid schizophrenia. His father started self medicating the mental disorder with alcohol. Don sometimes jokes that he drove his father crazy.

    • In World War II Donald Knotts served as an entertainer. From this service he received the World War II Victory Medal.

    • Donald Knotts ancestors have been in American since the 17th century.

    • Don Knotts was the last one from the Three's Company cast to work with John Ritter until his untimely death.

    • Don Knotts was reunited with Suzanne Somers, in an episode of Step by Step.

    • Don had a close relationship with stage actress Francey Yarborough.

  • Quotes

    • Don Knotts: (on his star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame) I can't believe I have my own star. I'm gonna come down here every morning and shine that sucker up.

    • Don Knotts: (referring to his Steve Allen Show character of The Nervous Man upon winning an award at the 14th annual Emmy telecast) You know...this is the first time I'm really shaking!

    • Don Knotts: Well, they put me in a booth and then did some nice things to the speaker to make it come out sounding ok.

    • Don Knotts: We began to do little things, have little scenes where we just talked about things that had nothing to do with the plot. In fact, in the beginning, they didn't want us to do that. But as time went on, you see that in so many shows. I think we were the first to do that

    • Don Knotts: No, I wasn't paid a whole lot of money for it, but I didn't feel cheated in any way. It was my first top billing in a feature length movie.

    • Don Knotts: My idol was Jack Benny, and he was the master of subtlety and timing.

    • Don Knotts: I took a lot of "Barney" into films like the Shakiest Gun in the West and The Ghost and Mr. Chicken. I have no regrets about the effect that character had on me.

    • Don Knotts: I don't think actors get good training today. I put my training to use in everything I do.

SUBMIT REVIEW
  • He was a hilarious and extremely talented actor.

    10
    I CAN'T BELIEVE HE'S DEAD!!!! *cry* I about cried when I heard, but I was too surprised. I knew he was old. XD He lead a very fullfilling. He was so successful and so talented. My favorite role of his was the spaztic Barney Fife on the 60's sitcom The Andy Griffith Show. Barney was my favorite character on that show. He's one of the main reasons the show was so funny. I was so sad when he left about the time the color episodes started to air. The show just wasn't the same. *sigh* Oh well. I'll miss Don Knotts. There'll never be another actor quite like him ever again.moreless
  • Why do we love Barney?

    10
    When I heard the news of Don Knotts’ passing, I thought what can be said about this man that has not been said already or will be said in the days ahead. Many people consider Barney Fife to be the greatest comedic character in the history of television. Prior to playing Barney Fife on The Andy Griffith Show Mr. Knotts played the nervous Mr. Morrison on The Steve Allen Show. Mr. Morrison’s initials were related to his occupation. For example K.B. Morrison’s job was to place the pins in hand grenades. When asked what the initials stood for, Mr. Morrison replied, "Kaa Boom!" Steve Allen would ask Mr. Morrison if he was nervous and always got the quick one word reply, "No!!!" In 1979, Mr. Knotts joined the cast of Three's Company as the new landlord Ralph Furley. I even remember seeing Mr. Knotts pulling pranks with Allen Funt on Candid Camera but Don Knotts will always be remembered best as Barney Fife.



    Why do we love Barney? There are many great comedic characters on TV, but many of these comedic characters went to a farcical extreme. Some even dropped I.Q. points for the sake of a joke. Andy Griffith felt that the integrity of Mayberry’s citizens was more important than a punch line. I think there is a lot of Barney in all of us. We may strive to be like Andy Taylor, act like Andy Taylor and may even fool ourselves into thinking that we are Andy Taylor. But we are really are Barney Fife full of good intentions but with a bullet in our pocket. The same integrity of the Barney character allowed Don Knotts to play the serious moments as well.



    I only met Don Knotts once. It was at a local art store where he was having a picture framed. This was on same day that Return to Mayberry was to air. Everyone in the store had to approach Mr. Knotts to tell him how much he or she loves his work and that they would be watching the Mayberry Reunion that night. I’m sure he was in a hurry but he took the time to thank everyone for his or her kind words.



    Good Night Mr. Knotts, see you at the fishing hole.



    To quote Barney Fife & Andy Taylor

    Barney Fife: The last big buy was my mom's and dad's anniversary present.

    Andy Taylor: What'd ya get 'em?

    Barney Fife: A septic tank.

    Andy Taylor: For their anniversary?

    Barney Fife: They're awful hard to buy for. Besides, it was something they could use. They were really thrilled. It had two tons of concrete in it. All steel reinforced.

    Andy Taylor: You're a fine son, Barn.

    Barney Fife: I try.



    Stay Tuned



    Tony Figueroamoreless
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