July 21, 2014
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.
READ MORE about men and women born on the cusp between the New God (1914-23) and Postmodernist (1924-33) Generations.