Don Knotts

Highest Rated: 85% Pleasantville (1998)
Lowest Rated: 0% Big Bully (1996)
Birthday: Jul 21, 1924
Birthplace: Morgantown, West Virginia, USA
While a still scrawny, undersized pre-teen in Morgantown, WV, Don Knotts dreamed of becoming an entertainer, but was too nervous to offer himself as a "single." Purchasing a dummy named Danny, Knotts worked up a ventriloquist act (admittedly stolen from Edgar Bergen) and headed to New York to seek his fortune. After flunking out twice on Major Bowes' Amateur Hour, Knotts returned to Morgantown. He attended West Virginia University as a speech major, intending to become a teacher. He was given a second opportunity to hone his entertaining skills while in Special Services during World War II. He continued pursuing ventriloquism until the fateful night that he threw his dummy into the ocean: "I wanted to get the laughs," Knotts would explain later. And laughs he got as a monologist from both GI and civilian audiences. Never completely conquering his stage fright, Knotts incorporated his nervousness into his act, impersonating such tremulous creatures as a novice TV weatherman and a tongue-tied sportcaster. In New York after the war, Knotts secured work on a local children's show before spending several years on the daytime soap opera Search for Tomorrow. In 1955, Knotts was cast in two small roles in the Broadway play No Time for Sergeants, which starred another teacher-turned-monologist named Andy Griffith, who would become Knotts' lifelong friend and co-worker. From 1955 through 1960, Knotts was a regular on The Steve Allen Show, provoking uncontrollable bursts of laughter as the bug-eyed, quivering "man on the street." He made his screen debut in the 1958 film version of No Time for Sergeants, re-creating his stage role of the squeaky-voiced coordination therapist. In 1960, he was cast as uptight, self-important, overzealous, magnificently inept deputy Barney Fife on The Andy Griffith Show. This was the role that won Knotts seven Emmies: five during his five-year tenure on the series, and two more when he returned to the show as a guest star in 1966 and 1967. Knotts left the Griffith Show when his contract expired in 1965, hoping to achieve movie stardom. From 1966 through 1971, Knotts ground out a series of inexpensive comedies for Universal (called "regionals" because they played primarily in non-urban and rural theaters). Panned or ignored by the critics on their first release, many of Knotts's starring films, especially The Ghost and Mr. Chicken (1966) and Shakiest Gun in the West (1967), became fan favorites. Arguably, however, the best of Knotts' 1960s films was made at Warner Bros. while he was still an Andy Griffith regular: The Incredible Mr. Limpet, a blend of animation and live-action wherein Knotts was ideally cast as a henpecked husband who metamorphosed into a war-hero fish.In 1970, Knotts starred in his own TV variety series, which opened to good ratings but ran out of gas after a single season. He resumed his film career, first at Disney, then teamed with Tim Conway in a handful of cheap but amusing B-grade features (The Private Eyes, The Prize Fighter). He also returned to television as self-styled roué Mr. Furley on Three's Company (1979-1984) and as gung-ho principal Bud McPherson on the syndicated What a Country! (1986). That same year, Knotts reprised his most venerable role of Deputy Fife in the made-for-TV movie, Return to Mayberry, the last act of which saw the character becoming the sheriff of Mayberry, NC.Despite his advancing age, Knotts' output increased in the 1990s and early 2000s. He appeared as a school principal in the Rick Moranis/Tom Arnold comedy Big Bully (1996). Additional roles included a television repairman in Big scribe Gary Ross's 1998 directorial debut, Pleasantville; the voice of T.W. Turtle in Cats Don't Dance, the voice of Turkey Lurkey in the 2005 Disney comedy Chicken Little, and a turn as "The Landlord" on an episode of That '70s Show that represented a deliberate throwback to Three's Company. Knotts spent much of his final decade teaming up with his old friend and co-star, Tim

Highest Rated Movies

Filmography

MOVIES

CREDIT
No Score Yet Hermie & Friends: Stanley the Stinkbug Goes to Camp Wormie 2008
No Score Yet Hermie & Friends: Hermie - A Common Caterpillar Wormie 2007
No Score Yet Air Buddies Sniffer 2006
37% Chicken Little Mayor Turkey Lurkey $135.3M 2005
No Score Yet Hermie & Friends: Buzby, the Misbehaving Bee Wormie 2005
No Score Yet A Fruitcake Christmas Wormie 2005
No Score Yet Hermie & Friends: Webster the Scaredy Spider Actor 2004
No Score Yet Buzby the Misbehaving Bee Actor 2004
No Score Yet Hermie & Friends: Flo the Lyin' Fly Wormie 2003
13% The Haunted Mansion Actor $75.8M 2003
45% Lady and the Tramp II: Scamp's Adventure Actor 2000
No Score Yet Quints Governor Healey 2000
No Score Yet Tom Sawyer Mutt Potter 2000
No Score Yet Jingle Bells Kris 1999
85% Pleasantville Repairman 1998
No Score Yet Precious Moments: Timmy's Gift Actor 1998
74% Cats Don't Dance T.W. 1997
0% Big Bully Principal Kokelar 1996
No Score Yet Pinocchio and the Emperor of the Night Gee Willikers 1987
No Score Yet Return to Mayberry Barney Fife 1986
No Score Yet The Little Troll Prince Actor 1985
13% Cannonball Run II CHP Officer 1984
No Score Yet The Private Eyes Inspector Winship 1981
No Score Yet The Apple Dumpling Gang Rides Again Theodore Olevie 1979
No Score Yet The Prize Fighter Shake 1979
No Score Yet Hot Lead and Cold Feet Denver Kid 1978
67% Herbie Goes to Monte Carlo Wheely Applegate 1977
No Score Yet Mule Feathers Narrator / The Mule (voice) 1977
No Score Yet Gus Coach Venner 1976
No Score Yet No Deposit, No Return Bert 1976
No Score Yet Captain & Tennille - Christmas Show Actor 1976
56% The Apple Dumpling Gang Theodore Ogelvie 1975
No Score Yet How to Frame a Figg Hollis Alexander Figg 1971
No Score Yet The Love God? Abner Audubon Peacock IV 1969
No Score Yet The Shakiest Gun in the West Dr. Jesse W. Heywood 1968
No Score Yet The Reluctant Astronaut Roy Fleming 1967
67% The Ghost and Mr. Chicken Luther Heggs 1966
40% The Incredible Mr. Limpet Henry Limpet 1964
No Score Yet Move Over Darling Shoe Salesman 1963
73% It's a Mad, Mad, Mad, Mad World Nervous Man 1963
No Score Yet Wake Me When It's Over Sgt. Percy Warren 1960
No Score Yet No Time for Sergeants Manual Dexterity Corporal 1958
No Score Yet Christmas Classics Actor

TV

CREDIT
No Score Yet That '70s Show
1998-2006
The Landlord
  • 2005
No Score Yet Las Vegas
2003-2008
Himself
  • 2005
  • 2004
No Score Yet Johnny Bravo
1997-2004
Voice
  • 2004
No Score Yet 8 Simple Rules
2002-2005
Himself
  • 2003
No Score Yet Newhart
1982-1990
Himself
  • 1990
No Score Yet Inspector Gadget
1983-1986
Voice
  • 1985
No Score Yet Three's Company
1977-1984
Mr. Furley Ralph Furley
  • 1984
  • 1983
  • 1982
  • 1981
  • 1980
  • 1979
  • 1978
100% The Muppet Show
1976-1981
Guest
  • 1978
No Score Yet The Flip Wilson Show
1970-1974
Guest
  • 1973
  • 1972
No Score Yet The Andy Griffith Show
1960-1968
Barney Fife
  • 1968
  • 1967
  • 1966
  • 1965
  • 1964
  • 1963
  • 1962
  • 1961
  • 1960

QUOTES FROM Don Knotts CHARACTERS