- NAME: Don Knotts
- OCCUPATION: Film Actor, Television Actor, Comedian
- BIRTH DATE: July 21, 1924
- DEATH DATE: February 24, 2006
- EDUCATION: West Virginia University
- PLACE OF BIRTH: Morgantown, West Virginia
- PLACE OF DEATH: Los Angeles, California
- Full Name: Jesse Donald Knotts
- AKA: Donald Knotts
- AKA: Don Knotts
Best Known For
Don Knotts was a comedic actor of film and television known for his roles on TV's The Andy Griffith Show and Three's Company.
Don Knotts - Early Life (2:56)
Andy Griffith - The Cast (3:20)
Actor and comedian Don Knotts faced many difficulties as a child growing up in West Virginia to ultimately become one of America's most beloved TV stars.
Watch a short video about Ron Howard and find out how this young freckle-faced actor became an Oscar-winning director.
The cast of "The Andy Griffith Show" recall their experiences on set.
On October 3rd, 1960, the world was introduced to Andy Griffith and a small town called Mayberry.
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In 1960, actor Don Knotts joined the sitcom The Andy Griffith Show. For his role on the show, he won three Emmy Awards for outstanding performance in a supporting role in a series. Though he left The Andy Griffith Show in 1965 to pursue a film career, his periodic returns in 1966 and '67 earned him two more Emmys. Later starring in several film comedies, Knotts also was part of the cast of Three's Company until its 1984 demise. Knotts died of lung cancer on February 24, 2006,
"I loved Don. There was no one like him."
at age 81, in Los Angeles, California.
Jesse Donald Knotts was born on July 21, 1924, in Morgantown, West Virginia. Before he entered high school, Knotts began performing as a ventriloquist and comedian at various church and school functions. He traveled to New York City to try and make his way as a comedian, but returned home to attend West Virginia University when his career failed to take off. After his freshman year, Knotts joined the U.S. Army, and during World War II, he toured the Pacific Islands as a comedian as part of a G.I. variety show called Stars and Gripes.
After graduating from college in 1948, Don Knotts again moved to New York, where he quickly became a regular on several television and radio programs. In 1955, he made his debut on Broadway in the hit comedy, No Time For Sergeants, which marked his first collaboration with Andy Griffith. Knotts appeared as a regular member of the ensemble cast on NBC's The Steve Allen Show, from 1956 to 1960; he moved to Hollywood when the show relocated in 1959. He also reprised his No Time for Sergeants role in the 1958 film version, alongside Griffith, a fellow regular on The Steve Allen Show.
In 1960, Knotts joined Griffith on a new sitcom, The Andy Griffith Show, playing Deputy Sheriff Barney Fife to Griffith's Sheriff Andy Taylor. Knotts stayed with the tremendously successful show for five seasons, during which time he won three Emmy Awards for outstanding performance in a supporting role in a series. Though he left The Andy Griffith Show in 1965 to pursue a film career, his periodic returns in 1966 and '67 earned him two more Emmys.
His first leading role in a film came in 1964, with The Incredible Mr. Limpet. The part began a string of appearances in low-budget family films for Knotts, including The Ghost and Mr. Chicken (1966), The Reluctant Astronaut (1967) and The Shakiest Gun in the West (1968), winning him widespread recognition as a film actor. By 1970, however, Knotts's clean-cut humor seemed somewhat out of place in a more sophisticated film industry, and he began to appear in a series of somewhat more juvenile films, beginning in 1975 with the Disney comedy-Western The Apple Dumpling Gang, co-starring comedian Tim Conway, who became a frequent collaborator.
In 1979, Don Knotts returned to his successful TV roots, joining the risqué hit comedy Three's Company as the eccentric, leisure suit-clad landlord Mr.
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