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The Andy Griffith Show

Don Knotts

Barney Fife

This veteran actor and comedian is best known for his high-strung, bug-eyed portrayal of Deputy Barney Fife on The Andy Griffith Show (1960-1968), a role for which he won five consecutive Emmy Awards for Best Supporting Actor in a Comedy. Knotts was an accomplished comedian before he hit Mayberry, and had a regular stint on the early comedy classic The Tonight Show with Steve Allen, where he honed his nervous, bumbling persona.

Born in West Virginia, Knotts developed a ventriloquist act as a teen, which he performed in and around his hometown of Morgantown WV. When he enlisted in the Army during WWII, he took the act on the road as part of "Stars and Gripes," a special service unit that entertained the troops. After the war, Knotts enrolled in West Virginia University where he majored in theater.

Upon his arrival in New York, Knotts kept busy working comedy clubs and making radio appearances. He met life-long friend Andy Griffith when the two appeared on Broadway in No Time for Sergeants. When The Tonight Show moved to Hollywood, Knotts met up with Griffith again, who told him about a TV show he was developing. It was Knotts who suggested creating the character of Barney Fife.

Knotts went on to translate his awkward, everyman character into numerous television and film roles, including The Incredible Mr. Limpert (1964), The Ghost and Mr. Chicken (1966), The Shakiest Gun in the West, and two Apple Dumpling Gang (1975 & 1979) flicks with fellow comedian, Tim Conway. Ralph Furley was Knotts' final sitcom role, but he continued to make TV and film appearances almost up until the time of his death in 2006. Twice married, he is survived by a son and daughter.

Character Bio

Simultaneously overconfident and lacking in self-esteem, Barney Fife is a perfect foil to his cousin Andy. Barney is an idea man, though his ideas aren't always on target. He's good at heart, and his advice to "nip it in the bud" always comes from the right place. Barney is a bit flirtatious, as is evidenced by his relationships with local waitress Juanita and his best gal Thelma Lou. A bug-eyed, nervous man, Barney has a tendency to get himself into jams by jumping to conclusions. Fortunately, Andy's always there to help him out and better yet, to make sure Barney never keeps his regulation revolver loaded.

The Andy Griffith Show TV Schedule

Thursday
January 29
9:00am
The Darling Baby
The Darling family returns to Mayberry.
TV-G
9:30am
Andy and Helen Have Their Day
Andy and Helen have an awful time while trying to enjoy a picnic, thanks to the one and only Barney Fife. Guest Star: Aneta Corsaut
TV-G
10:00am
Three Wishes for Opie
Superstitious Barney believes that the spirit of Count Istvan Teleky is the reason that wishes are coming true in Mayberry.
TV-G
10:30am
Otis Sues the County
Otis hires a shyster attorney after he trips and falls while exiting his jail cell.
TV-G
Friday
January 30
9:00am
Three Wishes for Opie
Superstitious Barney believes that the spirit of Count Istvan Teleky is the reason that wishes are coming true in Mayberry.
TV-G
9:30am
Otis Sues the County
Otis hires a shyster attorney after he trips and falls while exiting his jail cell.
TV-G
10:00am
Barney Fife, Realtor
Barney tries to earn some extra money by becoming a real estate agent.
TV-G
10:30am
Goober Takes a Car Apart
Andy wishes he had not allowed Goober to run the courthouse in his absence.
TV-G
Monday
February 2
9:00am
The Rehabilitation of Otis
After an argument with Barney, Otis decides to do his drinking elsewhere.
TV-G
9:36am
The Lucky Letter
Barney is intimidated by Andy not to respond to a chain letter.
TV-G
10:12am
Goober and the Art of Love
Goober goes out on an awkward date with Lydia Crosswaithe (Josie Lloyd).
TV-G