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And before him shall be gathered all nations: and he shall separate them one from another, as a shepherd divideth his sheep from the goats - Matthew 25:32

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All original content on copyright 2008 Albert Barger or the respective authors

February 26, 2006


Don Knotts 1924 - 2006
Don Knotts is beautiful.

A true comedy legend has passed. Jesse Donald Knotts was born July 21, 1924 in Morgantown, West Virginia. He died at age 81 on February 23, 2006 of pulmonary and respiratory complications at Cedars-Sinai Medical Centre in Beverly Hills, California.

Besides his signature role as Barney Fife, he was of course the swingin' landlord Ralph Furley on Three's Company. His character and presence were the only good justification for the existence of that silly show, really, but justify the show he did.

It strikes me slightly curious that it apparently fell to corporate spokesmen for TVLand to make the official public announcement of Knott's passing. Not that there's anything wrong with that. A family spokesman or perhaps hospital representative from Cedars-Sinai would have seemed more obvious, though. That's just a minor note on protocol, I suppose.

He was also a pretty significant film star, particularly with the Disney family stuff. The Shakiest Gun in the West would be the one that I remember best.

One particularly cool thing to look for would be the 1958 film No Time for Sergeants. This film cast him as a nervous military psychologist having great trouble with the dumb country bumpkin Pvt Will Stockdale, played by Andy Griffith. This was their early work together, predating The Andy Griffith Show. I think of this Cpl John C Brown character as a prototype for Barney Fife.

But then again, his early "man in the street" segments on Steve Allen's show showed a lot of that special corner of the human experience that Knotts illuminated uniquely.

Anyway, I don't know that I have any particularly uniquely insightful thing to say about him, unless it's to note that Barney Fife was a true everyman. Who doesn't understand directly and viscerally in their own souls Barney's blustering against raging insecurities, and struggling against the limits of his coping abilities day to day? There's a little bit of Barney Fife in all of us, isn't there?

But perhaps I'd best nip it in the bud before it gets philosophical or sloppy or both.

Here's my favorite image of Don Knotts-

Finally, here's the IMDB notation on Don Knotts' distinguished military service record
Veteran of the Second World War who was awarded the World War II Victory Medal, Philippine Liberation Medal, Asiatic-Pacific Campaign Medal (with 4 bronze service stars), Army Good Conduct Medal, Marksman Badge (with Carbine Bar) and Honorable Service Lapel Pin.

Served in the Army of the United States, under the service number 35 756 363, from June 21, 1943 to January 6, 1946. Discharged in the rank of Technician Grade 5, which was the equivalent of a Corporal.

"Here at the Rock, we have two basic rules. Memorize them so you can say them in your sleep. The first rule is: Obey all rules. Secondly, do not write on the wall, as it takes a lot of work to erase writing off of walls."

Andy Griffith Show "The Big House" Images 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 27 28 29 30 31 32 33 34 35 36


posted by Al at 2/26/2006 03:31:00 AM

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