Barney Fife – The Character!
Barney Fife is a fictional character played by the great Don Knotts in the TV series The Andy Griffith Show.
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Don Knotts won three consecutive Emmy Awards for his hilarious portrayal of the lovable deputy.
Don Knotts Early Career
In his early career, Don Knotts worked as a ventriloquist. This helped him develop his wacky character traits over a period of 3 years.
During his military service, Don received many non-combat awards. These included the World War II Victory Medal, Asiatic-Pacific Campaign Medal, Honorable Service Lapel Button, and a badge for marksmanship
How Don Knotts Became Barney Fife
Don gained popularity on The Steve Allen Show from 1957 and 1960 as a zany and incredibly talented physical comedian. As a result, he was subsequently offered the role of Barney Fife on The Andy Griffith Show.
The producers originally created the character of Barney Fife as a temporary side-man. The incredible talents of Don Knotts convinced them that they had something very special and kept him written-in permanently
Barney Fife and Andy Griffith
The producers of The Andy Griffith Show were not the only ones impressed with Don’s amazing talent. Andy Griffith himself insisted that Barney Fife got most of the good lines written in the show! From that era to the day Don died, the two remained close friends. Andy was even with Don during his last hours. Amazing!
Andy Griffith and Don Knotts shortly before Don’s Death in 2006
The End of The Andy Griffith Show
The Andy Griffith Show was originally expected to end in 1965 but after intense negotiation, the network convinced Andy to continue. Don Knotts, however, did not wait for the outcome of these negotiations and made plans to pursue a career in film. The Andy Griffith Show continued on another 3 years without Barney Fife, although Don did make a cameo in “The Return of Barney Fife” episode.
The characters of Andy and Barney did appear together again 1986 in the TV movie “Return to Mayberry“. As a result of this reunion, the program became the top rated show of that year!
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