40 Facts About Don Knotts


Jesse Donald Knotts was an American actor and comedian.


Don Knotts is widely known for his role as Deputy Sheriff Barney Fife on The Andy Griffith Show, a 1960s sitcom for which he earned five Emmy Awards.


Don Knotts played Ralph Furley on the highly rated sitcom Three's Company from 1979 to 1984.


Don Knotts starred in multiple comedic films, including the leading roles in The Incredible Mr Limpet and The Ghost and Mr Chicken.


Don Knotts then gained wide recognition as part of the repertory company on Steve Allen's variety show, where he played the "extremely nervous man" in Allen's mock "Man in the Street" interviews.


In 1958, Don Knotts made his film debut in the adapted version of No Time for Sergeants.


Don Knotts was cast as deputy Barney Fife on television's The Andy Griffith Show, which ran from 1960 to 1968.


Don Knotts won five Emmy Awards for Best Supporting Actor in a Television Comedy.


Don Knotts's brothers were named Willis, William, and Ralph.


Don Knotts's father died of pneumonia when Knotts was 13.


Don Knotts was a member of Phi Sigma Kappa fraternity at WVU.


Don Knotts served in the army from June 21,1943, to January 6,1946, in the Army's 6817th Special Services Battalion.


Don Knotts was discharged at the rank of Technician Grade 5, then equivalent to a corporal.


Don Knotts married Kay Metz and moved back to New York, where connections he had made in the Special Services Branch helped him break into show business.


Don Knotts got his first break on television in the soap opera Search for Tomorrow, where he appeared from 1953 to 1955.


Don Knotts came to fame in 1956 on Steve Allen's variety show, as part of Allen's repertory company, most notably in Allen's mock "Man in the Street" interviews, always playing an extremely nervous man.


Don Knotts always fired his pistol accidentally while still in his holster or in the ceiling of the courthouse, at which point he would sadly hand his pistol to Andy.


Don Knotts played the comic and pathetic sides of the character with equal aplomb and he received three Emmy Awards during the show's first five seasons.


Don Knotts believed remarks by Griffith that The Andy Griffith Show would end after five seasons, and he began to look for other work, signing a five-film contract with Universal Studios.


Don Knotts went on to star in a series of film comedies that drew on his high-strung persona from the television series: he had a cameo appearance in United Artists' It's a Mad, Mad, Mad, Mad World, and starred in Warner Bros.


Don Knotts continued to work steadily, though he did not appear as a regular on any successful television series until in 1979 he got the part of landlord Ralph Furley on Three's Company for seasons 4 through 8, after the departure of Norman Fell, who had played the previous landlord.


Don Knotts made frequent guest appearances on other shows such as The Bill Cosby Show and Here's Lucy.


In 1972, Don Knotts voiced an animated version of himself in two episodes of The New Scooby Doo Movies: "The Spooky Fog of Juneberry", in which he played a lawman resembling Barney Fife, and "Guess Who's Knott Coming to Dinner".


Don Knotts appeared as Felix Unger in a stage version of Neil Simon's The Odd Couple, with Art Carney as Oscar Madison, and toured in the Neil Simon comedy Last of the Red Hot Lovers.


Don Knotts co-starred in several other Disney films, including Gus, No Deposit, No Return, Herbie Goes to Monte Carlo and Hot Lead and Cold Feet.


In 1979, Don Knotts returned to series television in his second most identifiable role, the wacky but lovable landlord Ralph Furley on Three's Company.


On set, Don Knotts easily integrated himself into the already established cast who were, as John Ritter put it, "so scared" of Don Knotts because of his star status.


Don Knotts remained on the series until it ended in 1984.


In 1986, Don Knotts reunited with Andy Griffith in the made-for-television film Return to Mayberry, reprising his Barney Fife role.


In 1988, Don Knotts joined Andy Griffith on TV's Matlock, in the recurring role of pesky neighbor Les Calhoun, until 1992.


Don Knotts was recognized in 2000 with a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame.


Don Knotts continued to act on stage, but much of his film and television work after 2000 was as voice talent.


Don Knotts had appeared with Ritter one final time earlier in 2003 in a cameo on 8 Simple Rules for Dating My Teenage Daughter, in an episode that paid homage to their earlier television series.


Don Knotts was the last Three's Company star to work with Ritter.


Don Knotts parodied that part one final time in "Stone Cold Crazy", an episode of the sitcom That '70s Show, where he played the landlord.


Don Knotts married Loralee Czuchna in 1974; they divorced in 1983.


Don Knotts died at age 81 on February 24,2006, at the Cedars-Sinai Medical Center in Los Angeles from pulmonary and respiratory complications of pneumonia related to lung cancer.


Don Knotts underwent treatment at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center in the months before his death, but returned home after reportedly feeling better.


Don Knotts was buried at Westwood Memorial Park in Los Angeles.


Don Knotts' obituaries cited him as a major influence on other entertainers.