Don Knotts





7/21/1924 , Morgantown, West Virginia



Birth Name

Jesse Donald Knotts




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 comic performer, adept at playing hypertense, frequently unnerved types, is a former ventriloquist who made his way to radio and the stage. He made his film debut opposite Andy Griffith in No Time for Sergeants (1958), in a memorable role he'd played previously on Broadway. He followed Griffith to series TV, finding fame as small-town deputy Barney Fife on "The Andy Griffith Show" (1960-65), the role that earned him five Emmy awards. This fame led to his unlikely positioning as a movie star, in such broad (often kiddie-oriented) comedy vehicles as The Incredible Mr. Limpet (1964, in which his character was transformed into an animated cartoon fish), The Ghost and Mr. Chicken (1966), The Reluctant Astronaut (1967), The Shakiest Gun in the West (1968, a remake of Bob Hope's The Paleface the misfired "adult" comedy The Love God? (1969), and How to Frame a Figg (1971). He then became part of an unofficial comic repertory company at Disney, costarring in No Deposit, No Return (1976), Herbie Goes to Monte Carlo (1977), and Hot Lead and Cold Feet (1978), and, teamed with Tim Conway, in The Apple Dumpling Gang (1975), Gus (1976), and The Apple Dumpling Gang Rides Again (1979). He and Conway also costarred in some nonDisney comedies, The Prize Fighter (1979) and The Private Eyes (1980). In addition to hosting his own eponymous TV variety show from 1970-71, Knotts enjoyed a long run as an irascible landlord on "Three's Company" (1979-84).