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THE CHATTER BOX

 
  
  
  The Chatter Box : Blathering On
  
  
  
 
The demise of ol Bug Eyes by intrepid on 26 February 2006 5:24pm
 
Nuts. Nipped, if not in the bud:

By JEREMIAH MARQUEZ, Associated Press Writer 4 minutes ago

Don Knotts, who kept generations of TV audiences laughing as bumbling Deputy Barney Fife on "The Andy Griffith Show" and would-be swinger landlord Ralph Furley on "Three's Company," has died. He was 81.

Knotts died Friday night of pulmonary and respiratory complications at a Los Angeles hospital, said Paul Ward, a spokesman for the cable network TV Land, which airs his two signature shows.

Griffith, who remained close friends with Knotts, said he had a brilliant comedic mind and wrote some of the show's best scenes.

"Don was a small man ... but everything else about him was large: his mind, his expressions," Griffith told The Associated Press on Saturday. "Don was special. There's nobody like him.

"I loved him very much," Griffith added. "We had a long and wonderful life together."

Unspecified health problems had forced Knotts to cancel an appearance in his native Morgantown in August.

The West Virginia-born actor's half-century career included seven TV series and more than 25 films, but it was the Griffith show that brought him TV immortality and five Emmys.

The show ran from 1960-68, and was in the top 10 of the Nielsen ratings each season, including a No. 1 ranking its final year. It is one of only three series in TV history to bow out at the top: The others are "I Love Lucy" and "Seinfeld." The 249 episodes have appeared frequently in reruns and have spawned a large, active network of fan clubs.

As the bug-eyed deputy to Griffith, Knotts carried in his shirt pocket the one bullet he was allowed after shooting himself in the foot. The constant fumbling, a recurring sight gag, was typical of his self-deprecating humor.
 
Re: The demise of ol Bug Eyes by tucsonmike on 26 February 2006 6:39pm
 
That is a shame. Thank you for posting this. Don Knotts WAS a VERY funny man. He will be missed. He was a part of my childhood watching Andy Griffith (even if Mom and Dad thought it was hokey).
 
Re: The demise of ol Bug Eyes by Miss-M on 27 February 2006 5:50am
 
He was great in The Love Bug and It's a Mad, Mad, Mad, Mad World as well.
 
Re: The demise of ol Bug Eyes by George on 27 February 2006 10:40am
 
Sorry I didn't make the connection before starting my own thread about him. Yes, he was a small, almost frail man and very soft-spoken in real life. What was always a surprize to me was that he was actually a drill sergeant in the US Marine Corpse before going into show business.
 
Re: The demise of ol Bug Eyes by intrepid on 27 February 2006 2:12pm
 
A drill sergeant? That is a surprise. Sort of reminds me of him in "No Time for Sergeants".
The thing I remember most is Barney ranting to Andy about the thing which really bugs him- apathy- only he didn't say "apathy", he consistantly said "a-PATHY", ignoring that he was being corrected every time he said it.
By the way, I don't think that I've ever seen that word and put the stress on the correct syllable.
 
Re: The demise of ol Bug Eyes by George on 27 February 2006 7:01pm
 
I always thought his connection with the military was an urban legend, but he definately confirmed it in an interview once.

I have so many favorite episodes, but I think the most poignent was one when he took a job with the Raleigh Police Dept. He tried so hard to pretend it was a mammath promotion, but in reality, it wasn't. A few weeks later when he came back saying wanted to come home, Andy just sort of winked, and everything was OK.
 
Re: The demise of ol Bug Eyes by peripatetically on 27 February 2006 8:44pm
 
Barney touched many hearts. may be rest in peace.
 
Re: The demise of ol Bug Eyes by peripatetically on 27 February 2006 8:50pm
 
Barney touched many hearts. may be rest in peace.
 
Re: The demise of ol Bug Eyes by George on 28 February 2006 6:22am
 
Y'known Andy Griffith, as Andy Taylor in that show was so much like what we wish our fathers were, or, could have been like. He was so smart and yet so warm.
 



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