Saturday, February 25, 2006
Thanks For the Laughs
Don Knotts, who died today at age 81, was best known for two roles he played on TV -- the bumbling deputy Barney Fife on The Andy Griffith Show (for which he won five Emmys), and the bumbling landlord Mr. Furley on Three's Company -- but Knotts was also a staple of late 60s/early 70s Walt Disney live-action family films (including No Deposit, No Return; Hot Lead, Cold Feet; The Apple Dumpling Gang; Gus; and Herbie Goes to Monte Carlo), as well as starring in the impressive live action/animation film, The Incredible Mr Limpet, in which his character wishes he was a fish. From his work in the Disney films, was born a mildly successful and short-lived on-screen paring with Tim Conway (which also included The Prizefighter and The Private Eyes). In 1986, he participated in the Andy Griffith Show reunion movie Return to Mayberry (which surprisingly became the most popular TV film of that year, and led to the popularity of such specialty networks as TV Land). More recently, Knotts lent his unique voice talents to animated projects including Scooby Doo. He made a small, but memorable appearance in the underrated film Pleasantville as the TV repair man, and, just last year, starred as Mayor Turkey Lurkey in Disney's animated film Chicken Little.