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Jesse Donald "Don" Knotts (born July 21, 1924) is an American actor. He was born in Morgantown, West Virginia to Elsie L. Moore and William Jesse Knotts, whose ancestors had been in America since the 17th century. He served in World War II as an entertainer and received the World War II Victory Medal.
Don Knotts graduated from West Virginia University in 1948 with a degree in theater. After being a regular performer in the soap opera Search for Tomorrow from 1953 to 1955, he gained additional exposure in 1956 on Steve Allen's variety show. He is remembered for appearing in Allen's mock "Man in the Street" interviews, always as a man obviously very nervous about being on camera. This fidgety, high-strung characterization would serve him well throughout his career.
Knotts is best known for his role as Deputy Barney Fife on the American television sitcom The Andy Griffith Show, a portrayal that earned him five Emmy Awards. After leaving the series in 1965, Knotts starred in a series of film comedies: The Incredible Mr. Limpet (1964), The Ghost and Mr. Chicken (1966), The Reluctant Astronaut (1967), The Shakiest Gun in the West (1968) and The Love God? (1969).
In the 1970s, Knotts and Tim Conway starred together in a series of slapstick movies--particularly, the 1975 feature film for Disney, The Apple Dumpling Gang , and its 1979 sequel, The Apple Dumpling Gang Rides Again.
Knotts returned to series television in the late 1970s, appearing as landlord Ralph Furley on Three's Company starring John Ritter, after Audra Lindley and Norman Fell left the show to star in a short-lived spinoff series ("The Ropers"). Knotts remained on the show from 1979, until it ended in 1984. in 1989, Knotts was given a recurring role as pesky neighbor Les Calhoun on Matlock, which starred his old friend and star Andy Griffith. A role he enjoyed until 1992. He also appeared with Griffith in the 1986 made for television movie Return to Mayberry, where he once again of course played good old "Barney Fife".
In 1998, Knotts began a recent career comeback with his part as the mysterious TV repairman in Pleasantville (1998). and as the voice of Mayor Turkey Lurkey in Disney's big film Chicken Little in 2005 (his first Disney movie since 1979)
No Time for Sergeants (1958)
Wake Me When It's Over (1960)
The Last Time I Saw Archie (1961)
It's a Mad Mad Mad Mad World (1963) (Cameo)
Move Over, Darling (1963)
The Incredible Mr. Limpet (1964)
The Ghost and Mr. Chicken (1966)
The Reluctant Astronaut (1967)
Rowan & Martin at the Movies (1968) (short subject)
The Shakiest Gun in the West (1968)
The Love God? (1969)
How to Frame a Figg (1971)
The Apple Dumpling Gang (1975)
No Deposit, No Return (1976)
Herbie Goes to Monte Carlo (1977)
Hot Lead and Cold Feet (1978)
The Apple Dumpling Gang Rides Again (1979)
The Prize Fighter (1979)
The Private Eyes (1981)
Cannonball Run II (1984)
Pinocchio and the Emperor of the Night (1987) (voice)
Big Bully (1996)
Cats Don't Dance (1997) (voice)
Chicken Little (2005) (voice)
Search for Tomorrow (cast member from 1953-1955)
The Steve Allen Show (1956-1960)
The Andy Griffith Show (cast member from 1960-1965)
The New Steve Allen Show (1961) (canceled after 4 months)
The Don Knotts Show (1970-1971)
The Man Who Came to Dinner (1972)
I Love a Mystery (1973)
Steve Allen's Laugh Back (1975) (canceled after a few weeks)
Three's Company (cast member from 1979-1984)
Return to Mayberry (1986)
What a Country (cast member in 1987)
Matlock (cast member from 1989-1990)
Timmy's Gift: A Precious Moments Christmas (1991) (voice)
Matlock: The Picture (1991)
Jingle Bells (1999) (voice)
Hermie: A Common Caterpillar (2003) (voice)
Hermie & Friends (2004) (voice)
Robot Chicken (2005) (voice)
Las Vegas (2005)
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