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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

Monday
December 22
9:00am
Opie's Hobo Friend
Ne'er-do-well vagrant Dave Brown has a bad influence on Opie, but he sets things straight before leaving town. Guest Star: Buddy Ebsen
TV-G
9:36am
Crime Free Mayberry
Andy and Barney are honored for achieving the lowest crime-rate in the country.
TV-G
10:12am
The Perfect Female
Barney and his sweetheart play cupid as they match Andy up with Thelma Lou's sharp-shooting cousin.
TV-G
10:48am
Aunt Bee's Brief Encounter
Aunt Bee is smitten by a traveling handyman, but Andy ends up doing all of the work.
TV-G
Tuesday
December 23
9:00am
The Clubmen
Andy and Barney become prospective members of an exclusive men's club in Raleigh.
TV-G
9:36am
The Pickle Story
Andy, Barney and Opie find themselves in a real pickle when they pretend to love Aunt Bee's homemade kerosene cucumbers.
TV-G
10:12am
Sheriff Barney
Impressed by Mayberry's low crime-rate, officials from a neighboring town ask Barney to become their sheriff.
TV-G
10:48am
A Christmas Story
A modern-day Scrooge (businessman Ben Weaver) causes trouble on Christmas Eve.
TV-G
Wednesday
December 24
9:00am
The Keeper of the Flame
Opie joins a secret kids club, headquartered in a neighboring farmer's barn. When the barn goes up in flames, more than one secret is revealed.
TV-G
9:30am
Bailey's Bad Boy
A spoiled young man, arrested for speeding, threatens to use his father's clout against Andy unless charges are dismissed. Guest Star: Bill Bixby
TV-G
10:00am
A Christmas Story
A modern-day Scrooge (businessman Ben Weaver) causes trouble on Christmas Eve.
TV-G
10:30am
The Jinx
Barney becomes convinced that a local man is a true jinx.
TV-G
11:00am
Jailbreak
Barney inadvertently allows a fugitive to escape from the Mayberry Jail.
TV-G