Don Knotts, the rail-thin comic actor who was perhaps best known to millions of television viewers as the bungling Deputy Sheriff Barney Fife in "The Andy Griffith Show" and the squirrelly landlord in "Three's Company," died of lung cancer Feb. 24 at UCLA Medical Center in Los Angeles. He was 81.
Mr. Knotts, who often played high-strung characters, won five Emmys for Best Supporting Actor in the 1960s as the swaggering but hapless Fife. Mr. Knotts developed the idea of the deputy sheriff when he heard that Andy Griffith, with whom he had worked in the play "No Time for Sergeants," was putting together a TV pilot set in the fictional North Carolina town of Mayberry. - Louie Estrada, TWP