Don Knotts
By: Tucker Cummings | Categories: Cusper, HiLo Heroes, Movies

knotts

My first celebrity crush wasn’t a Backstreet Boy: it was actor DON KNOTTS (1924–2006). His turn as the frantic, accident-prone deputy Barney Fife on The Andy Griffith Show (1960–68) is one of the most iconic comedic performances in TV history. Even if his overzealousness made him insufferable, there was something charming about Barney’s puffed-up sense of duty and justice. Beyond Mayberry, and before returning to TV for the last four seasons of Three’s Company, Knotts cracked up audiences in a series of Universal comedies from The Incredible Mr. Limpet (1964) through How to Frame a Figg (1971), and in several Disney live-action movies, from 1975’s The Apple Dumpling Gang to 1978’s Hot Lead and Cold Feet. Typecast for most of his career, Knotts elevated neurosis to a comedic height rivaled perhaps only by Woody Allen. His goofy appeal and awkward looks paved the way for actors like Steve Buscemi… but Hollywood doesn’t make charmers like Knotts anymore.

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On his or her birthday, HiLobrow irregularly pays tribute to one of our high-, low-, no-, or hilobrow heroes. Also born this date: Hart Crane, Ernest Hemingway.

READ MORE about men and women born on the cusp between the New God (1914-23) and Postmodernist (1924-33) Generations.

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Tucker Cummings is a writer whose projects include The Strange Adventures of Margery Jones, a 365-part fiction serial about parallel universes. She also has a microfiction piece featured in The Thackery T. Lambshead Cabinet of Curiosities. Hers was the winning story in HiLobrow's kooky-spooky fiction contest.