Sunday, February 26, 2006

Don Knotts Dies

For most of us, childhood doesn't end suddenly, but by degrees, and today another piece of my childhood slipped away when I heard that Don Knotts, who perfected the character of the nerdy guy who tries to act cooler or tougher than he really is in the TV series The Andy Griffith Show and Three's Company and in films such as The Incredible Mr. Limpet and The Apple Dumpling Gang, died Friday.
Stuck, for the most part, in supporting roles, Knotts transcended his second banana status on The Andy Griffith Show and Three's Company to overshadow those shows' stars and provide some of the very few genuinely funny moments either show could boast. The Incredible Mr. Limpet, a mix of live action and animation which cast Knotts as a man who escapes his unfulfilling life by turning into a fish and going on to aid the Allies in winning World War II, remains, to this day, one of my favorite movies.
A Comic Genius? I wouldn't go that far, but Don Knotts made the most of the gifts he was given to bring smiles to millions and he will be missed.
Another passing of note: TV's original Night Stalker and star of A Christmas Story, Darren McGavin.

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