Don Knotts: TV's Top Second Banana

Don Knotts was born in Morgantown, West Virginia on July 21, 1924.  After graduating from high school, he was drafted into the U.S. Army during World War II where he was part of a traveling group of performers in a variety show.

At the conclusion of his World War II tour of duty, he came back to the United States and started performing comedy routines.  His act also including him working as a ventriloquist.  However, his first big break in show business came when he was hired in 1953 to be on the television soap opera, Search For Tomorrow.  He appeared regularly on the show for the next two years, which got his budding career much exposure.  His next big break came in 1956, when he became a regular on the Steve Allen Show.  The show, and Allen, allowed him to explore new areas of comedy and allowed Knotts to find out how to be funny to an audience.  His next break came in 1958, when he appeared with Andy Griffith in the movie No Time For Sergeants.  This lead to the first major role, and one that he has been identified with – Barney Fife.

·         Ancestry:  information on the ancestry of Don Knotts

·         Biography:  details on the life of Don Knotts

·         Career:  information on the career of Don Knotts

·         Don Knotts:  biographical look at funny man Don Knotts

·         Early Years:  information on his early career from West Virginia University

In 1960, Andy Griffith was putting together a television series titled the Andy Griffith Show, with Andy playing Sheriff Taylor.  When they were casting for the rest of the show, Griffith thought Don Knotts would be a perfect fit in the role of Deputy Sheriff Barney Fife –and he was right.  Knotts used his comedic talents to bring this character to life.  Barney was a hyper, gung ho Deputy and brought perfect balance to the laid back Sheriff Taylor.  Knotts played the role of Barney Fife for 5 years, and he won the Emmy Award for Best Supporting Actor each of the years.

·         Interview:  Andy Griffith and Don Knotts discuss working together

·         Andy Griffith Show:  information on the history of the show

·         Show Information:  details on the classic southern comedy

·         Museum of Broadcasting:  background information on the Andy Griffith Show

·         Don Knotts:  information on the life of Don Knotts

When he left the Andy Griffith Show, Don Knotts moved on to the big screen.  He was featured in several movies including The Incredible Mr. Limpet, The Ghost and Mr. Chicken, The Shakiest Gun in the West, The Love God?, The Apple Dumpling Gang and Gus. 

·         Don Knotts Movies:  information on the Top 25 movies of Don Knotts

·         Movie Roles:  details of the movie roles of Don Knotts

·         Knotts Movies:  listing of the movies of the comedian

In 1979, Don Knotts made another return to network television picking up the role of Mr. Furley the landlord, on the popular comedy, Three’s Company.  Knotts was on the show until it went off the air in 1984.

For his outstanding career, Don Knotts was recognized in 2000 by having a star in the Hollywood Walk of Stars.  Don Knotts continued to work during his later years, appearing as a guest in movies and television shows.  Unfortunately, health conditions made Knotts legally blind, and working became more difficult for him.

On February 24, 2006, Don Knotts passed away due to complications from lung cancer.  Don Knotts will be remembered as one of the funniest co-stars in television history, and his character of Barney Fife will is still a classic.

·         Don Knotts:  info on the life of Don Knotts

·         Don Knotts:  look into the career of the actor

·         Knotts Career:  resource on the career of Don Knotts

·         Summary:  summary on the career of Don Knotts

·         Photos:  selection of photos of the comedian

·         Knotts Biography:  look at the professional career of Don Knotts